The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter

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The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter

Elizabeth Wyndham liked showing off her assets. She also knew that at 30 years old, she wouldn't be able to do so much longer. Still, it didn't matter as she planned never to marry, regardless of what her father, stepmother and the local justice of the peace, Lord Stafford, thought! Elizabeth was a writer and a very good one. While she writes about vapid, charming heroines, she is nothing like them with her outspoken ways and outlandish ideas.

Rand Remington had once been a soldier in her majesty's army. He served in the colonies and came home a hero but currently Rand is working as a highwayman with his cousin, Zac. They are doing well at this new trade and making a name for themselves. Much of the wealth he acquires Rand gives to the poor of London but it's never enough. Able to pass as a gentleman, Rand attends a gathering given in Elizabeth's honor by her publisher. There, they find instant attraction.

Though the Dales are far from London that is where Elizabeth lives and where Rand follows her. Can he continue to evade the hangman's noose as he robs around Elizabeth's home? Will they be able to explore this attraction and why does it feel as if they have known each other before? And is there a reason Rand shares a striking resemblance to one of the characters in Elizabeth's latest book!

This story is based on Alfred Noyes's poem, The Highwayman but with a better ending. The author, Mary Ellen Dennis tried to stay historically accurate and stay as close as possible to the poem. She accomplished both.

Each chapter has some kind of action going on from a ballroom scene to a prison escape. At no point does the action stop though at times it felt a bit far fetched or contrived. Most were needed though to push the story forward.

The characters were given a past and a present. They had family around them and interacted with many other people. Yet, for some unknown reason, the connection that usually happens between reader and character didn't appear. Still, each character was unique and had interesting personality traits.

I loved the premise and fell in love with the ending. It was great. There were parts of the book where I thought there were details and extra stuff not needed and other parts where I would have liked that part expanded. Still, as it came together, I worried if there could be a happy ending. There isn't one in the poem. Ms Dennis comes up with a perfect happy ending which feels possible and realistic.

Though the writing style didn't match my reading style making the story feel flat for me, I think for many readers this would be an awesome story. There is lots of action, plenty of dialog and a few twists and turns to keep a readers interest.

Book Blurb for The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter

A fast-paced and passionate retelling of the story of two timeless lovers who would die for each other. If only they didn't have to. This gorgeous romance by author Mary Ellen Dennis gives the poem a whole new depth and a happy ending.

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2011 3.25