Cover Image: Once a Fallen Lady

Once a Fallen Lady

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Member Reviews

A story to pull at the heart-stings - especially to those of us who remember polio and its effects and the dreadful iron lungs.
i remember being told not to play in a particular stream as a child because the water carried polio. I remember volunteering at a lung recovery hospital where people were still in iron lungs. Such an awful disease.

And here we have dedicated teachers with modern ideas of how schooling and education should go, which were not currently in vogue and indeed were considered to be threatening to the status quo. Education and schools were often brutal in application and a little bullying or corporal punishment was considered correct and essential for children to receive.

A nice gentle story with many reminders of just how bad society was then in so many ways to those not born into privilege or who are not rich enough to live well.
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I was not able to  get interested in this book and I did not finish it. The characters and the plot were not able to catch or keep my attention..
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I enjoyed this historical romance story with the two main characters that were Lydia Taylor and Alfred Lowe. And also the rest of the characters too.

Lydia Taylor is a respectable widow and capable mother with a sad past history. That has been having a hard time paying for things.So when her daughter falls very ill she not sure if she be able to pay for a doctor. 

Alfred Lowe is the new teacher of this small town. So when one of his students doesn't show up at school he decides to see how they are doing.

This was quite a emotional book. With a few surprises along the way. 

I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley. This is my honest unbiased opinion.
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This book is a charming and nice gem.
Here we have Lydia, Annie and Alfred. Lydia who don`t want any fuss, pity or charity even though it leaks through the roof and they barely have any money. Her pride stands in the way of that. This little gem is around 180 pages and have a very nice pacing of the story. Annie is a happy child who loves the school in the village, even though they often are late and the teacher`s huff and puff about it. Alfred who easily fall for Lydia and has his own ambitions and dreams – he wants to help learn the children reading, cooking and solve their problems. He knows that isn`t how it is. But it is a nice dream. One can clearly see that Lydia and Alfred (Mr. Lowe) are in love with each other, but it doesn’t feel like instant love, it grows slowly like a flower in the soil. It needs nurturing and care for it to grow between them. But sometimes one frowns and go? Really! Come on! You love each other!! And I really like that they aren`t perfect, that they admit they have faults tough Lydia`s lie, well that could maybe have been told sooner instead of later, but that is only my opinion. I mean I guess it created more story when she waited, but I am glad she did tell him and that he did not pull away from her because I would have been very sad if he did. Though that is not the Alfred Lowe I know and grow to love as a character. He quickly became my favorite.
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i really enjoyed reading this book, the characters were great and I really enjoyed the time period. I liked Lydia she was a great character.
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I loved this short but engaging story.  
Lydia, a single mother in rural England, who has barely enough money to live, finds she must now find a way to pay for the care of her daughter who has fallen very Ill.   Although she comes from a wealthy family and dreamed of marrying a title, she was disowned when she found herself an unwed mother. 
Alfred, the new school teacher, needs to marry an heiress.  Lydia falls at his feet, literally, and Alfred is smitten.  He tries to help Lydia  out in the guise of helping a student.  All the while, growing closer to them both.  
I highly recommend this book to all.  Especially my fellow historical romance fans!
Thank you Eve Pendle, BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for allowing me an advance copy for my honest feedback.
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If you are looking for a book that will give you all the warm and fuzzies, LOOK NO MORE! This is the book for you. True love that keeps you yearning for more. **This does involve a child with an Illness **
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I loved this historical romance.  It was quite a short read but the storyline and characters were believable and soon had me gripped with their lives.  I would recommend this book.
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Historical romances centered on working or middle class characters are rare, and it's rarer still to find a story that is attentive to the responsibilities and realities of daily life: cooking, cleaning, looking after animals and caring for family. In this respect Once a Fallen Lady stands out from the crowd.  

Lydia Taylor is living as a respectable widow with her young daughter Annie in an out-of-the-way village, scrimping and saving her small income to keep a roof over their heads.  We first meet her hurrying Annie to school, late and racing through the mud and rain. Within sight of the gates she trips and crashes to the ground, face down in the street, at the feet of Alfred Lowe, the new school teacher.  He offers her his hand to rise but she refuses it, sure that nothing good can come of getting close to handsome young men.  It isn't an auspicious meeting, but it's a memorable one, and sets the tenor of their relationship: Lydia, proud and determined to maintain her independence, Alfred, a proper and sternly solicitous gentleman.  It was a vivid and compelling opening and seemed to bode well for this long novella.

But unfortunately I didn't like what came after half as well.  Two years later, with nothing but polite parent-teacher interactions in the interim, Mr Lowe and Lydia are thrown together when Annie becomes dangerously ill.  The circle of protection that Lydia has built around her little family is breached and she is forced to rely on Alfred's kindness to cope; by doing so she risks revealing the secret she has kept so carefully, and to the very last person she wants to confide in. What follows is a sweet rapid low heat romance, full of period detail and moments of care, which I enjoyed. But. But it's rather awkwardly wrapped in not one but two sensationalist angsty plots, replete with villains to be vanquished, which made it difficult to settle into the relationship at the heart of the story. The mixture of homely domesticity and tentative care, with nefarious secrets straight from Mary Elizabeth Braddon, never quite gelled together. The short length meant that there wasn't space to develop both strands properly, and as a result both suffered.  

While the book has some lovely, beautifully rendered moments - that first kiss! - other elements jarred, in particular the way Annie is used in the story and the ultimate resolution of Lydia's secret.  I understand that to some extent my problem with the latter may be because I haven't read the previous book, but even accounting for this the ending didn't sit well with me.
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This was a book that I enjoyed reading. It had a good storyline about a woman who is caring for her daughter who gets polio. She has hardly any money but her family are rich and had disowned her when she had her daughter. The story keeps you interested and you want to know if they if they all become a family again. There is a happy ending .
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This was a historical romance about a women who felt she didn’t deserve anyone of status because of her past. Then along comes Prince Charming who looked like an unlikely suitor. 
There was lots of lust and some romance. It was a quick read, a novella that I felt should have been longer. But of course I always say that. 
This was a Netgalley book and I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Once upon a time, Lydia Taylor was a respectable young woman who aspired to marry an earl. That was a long time ago, though, and the balls, parties and pretty gowns belonged to another life… one where she wasn’t a single mother desperate to conceal the fact that she’s not really a widow, for her daughter’s sake. Living in poverty and gouged by an unscrupulous rent collector, when Annie falls ill she’s at her wits’ end until Annie’s schoolteacher appears on her doorstep with an entirely unlooked-for offer of help.

Eve Pendle writes her characters so well, such that Lydia’s fear makes absolute logical sense. There are no contrived leaps of logic here for the sake of the plot; Lydia’s fears are very real and the risks she must take have to be carefully weighed, every decision taken with the full awareness that she might be jeopardising everything she holds dear. Alfred isn’t operating with all the relevant operation for most of the book, but he immediately grasps the magnitude of the problem once Lydia tells him the truth.

Alfred’s a decent man, but also somewhat of an ambitious one. He had a dream of opening a school, but it’s an entirely unattainable dream unless he can marry a woman with money. A penniless widow with a child of her own definitely doesn’t fit the bill… and yet he can’t walk away, because there’s something about Lydia which calls him. Her pride, her quiet desperation, her determination; she’s very compelling.

I won’t spoil how it all resolves for the pair, but be assured that this is a romance and there is a happy ending. One of the villains of the book turns out not so villainous in the end, though I admit the grovel wasn’t quite as abject as I would have liked. Something I did very much enjoy was that not all the characters were lily-white; Sir Thomas, the major landowner of the area, is a Black man who made a fortune importing guano from the Caribbean, and his daughter makes an appearance late in the book - for just long enough for me to hope she gets her own story soon!

Five stars for an excellent Victorian romance about two ‘average’ people - a pleasant change from infinite dukes and earls.
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I received an advance readers copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Sexy short romantic fun. Very enjoyable pleasure reading
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Once a Fallen Lady by Eve Pendle is a nice, sweet romance. It is written nicely and i enjoyed the characters. Lydia the MC, is a woman who had a child out of wedlock and went to many lengths to cover it up, even so far as letting her parents think she was dead. She meets a lovely gentleman who falls for her immediately. He is a teacher of her daughter Annie and she falls ill with polio. He makes everyday visits to check on the child and eventually romance ensures with Lydia.

This was a fun PG13 book which I enjoyed. Not a long book though, only 180 pages.

Thank you so much to #NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy to review.
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Once a Fallen Lady is a surprisingly well-developed and well-paced historical romance novella. I really enjoyed this and would seek out more by this author. If you are looking for something short and satisfying, this is a great pick.

Lydia Taylor is raising a 10-year-old daughter and living on the brink of poverty. Her secret is that she is a ruined woman and her daughter is a bastard child. But when the child falls seriously ill, she develops a sweet relationship with the local school teacher.

I thought the romance her was very sweet and enjoyable. The hero is definitely a beta-type and I was all for it. He brings her books and chocolate and is so incredibly sweet with the daughter. Lovely and well-executed. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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A well written historical romance.  Good plot and lovable characters.  Fans of historical romance will enjoy this book.  I received an arc from the publisher and this is my unbiased review.
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I really enjoyed this historical romance novel, i don' t likd the cover as it doesn't match the time period.
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With secrets looming between them, does their growing attraction stand a chance ....

This book is such a lovely tale of acceptance and letting the past go.
Lydia has lived a makeshift life for now ten years, one forged under duress and deceit with no other choice than living a make-believe new life far away from her previous one. Society was so unforgiving for those who have fallen to hold to the appearance of perfection.
She has been a spoiled girl, but she was just that a girl when her life was turned upside down. Since she had to come of age much faster than she should have.
Despite her shame, she is still a prideful woman, she learned from her mistakes, flawed she is but willing to do her best for her daughter.
Alfred is a dream comes alive, a really to good and caring to be true man. Honorable, nonjudgmental, steadfast and loyal. Still he will need all his determination and perseverance to break through Lydia’s walls. 
He has his own dreams but because of his own rightness and honesty, it costed him to have to put them aside.
I rooted for him, hurting with him when he felt rejected, cheering when he sees hope in his wooing, happy when she opens her heart to him.
I loved how despite his shyness, he slowly entering Lydia’s home, to become a pillar on whom she can rely, the one person she can trust with her secrets and who will stand for her.

5 stars for this awesome tale of one’s worth is in the eyes of those who love you.

I received an advance copy and ordered my own. Here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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3.75/5. This is a gentle love story between a village school teacher, Alfred Lowe, and the widowed mother of one his students, Lydia Taylor. Lydia is struggling to provide for herself and her young daughter financially. Their circumstances only worsen when Annie falls seriously ill. Alfred, the diligent teacher that he is, comes a calling to offer his assistance. Of course it would be all too cynical (and accurate) to think that Lydia's beauty might be a motivator for his kind attentions. But Alfred, though not quite borderline indigent like Lydia, is not exactly swimming in money what with his modest income and his ambitions that require every one of his hard-earned pennies to bring to fruition. In addition, Lydia - it turns out - is no widow. This is not a spoiler, given the title, but it adds to her shame and the hopelessness of any romance between them. Still the heart wants what it wants and love conquers all in the end. That and a cart load of money!

I really didn't like the ending. So many inconsistencies started to develop in the story and the ending was unrealistic and unsatisfying. *spoilers* I wanted the solution to their dilemma to be resolved by the protagonists and not by a monetary grant from the villain of the story. It feels like tainted money and all was forgiven too quickly, not to mention that fifty thousand pounds was an insane amount of money in those days. Markshall knew where they were for years and yet allowed them to live in poverty and now decides to step in after Annie has already recovered to hand over a fortune. Furthermore, Markshall showed hunger to see Annie when he entered the house, yet was happy to leave - once he had handed over his guilt money - without organising to see her again. In addition, considering Lydia's concern about keeping her reputation spotless, they were pretty indiscreet with Alfred visiting her daily and running errands for her and them taking walks together surely would have generated gossips in a small village. I also didn't understand why she turned Alfred's proposal down while allowing her daughter to call him papa.  

Still, rounded up because I like the writing style, the authentic feel of the story and the language.
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I enjoyed this book and read it through in one sitting. It was nicely written, but there was an odd typo in the eARC, which I assume will be corrected. Set in 1875 England and for once there wasn't a Duke in sight! (which I liked) Lydia is a very poor unmarried mother, pretending to be a widow and Alfred (swoon-worthy) - also quite poor, is the local schoolteacher. He's been taken with her since they met two years before and when Lydia's daughter Annie becomes sick, he starts calling with pies, sweets, chocolates and books. This is a story about poverty, morals and family and I liked the small town setting.

Their romance is slow burn for most of the story while then it becomes steamier in the latter half. Everything is a bit too conveniently and neatly wrapped up at the end, but this is fiction and a romance, after all. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC. 3.5 stars. I'm intending to read more from this author.
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