My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Carina Press had already grabbed me hook, line, and sinker before they released The Sergeant’s Lady, but I went from zero to “I MUST HAVE THIS NOW” on the strength of several delightful things, only one of which is actually immediately pertinent to the book: i.e., the author, Susanna Fraser, cheerfully admitting she’d modeled Will Atkins, her hero, on Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly. This, as you might imagine, was music to my Browncoat ears.
Happily, the book proved to be quite solid even above and beyond the pleasure of envisioning the hero played in my brain by (a strangely British-accented) Nathan Fillion. Class conflict is generally always good for setting up the sparks of a romance, and this one’s particularly crunchy with the added bonuses of Will being in the military, Anna being a married (although widowed during the course of the plot) woman, and her husband being a raging douchebucket. Fraser does a delightful job having Will and Anna try very, very, very hard to maintain the proprieties as Will must escort Anna out of enemy territory, and even more importantly, making me genuinely like these people. That Will is a voracious reader charmed me immensely, as did the scenes of him and Anna not only fighting off mutual attraction, but also talking to one another and liking each other. It was very clear to me that these two had more going on than just raw hormones, and it was awesome.
Bonus points as well for Fraser not pulling any punches with the ending, about which I will say simply that Will, as a military man, is not exempt from the dangers thereof even if he IS the hero. All that’s keeping me from giving this five stars are the scattered moments when I was thinking “yes yes get on with it”–but those moments were few and far between. (Browncoats who may read this book, keep a sharp eye out as well for the name of Will’s best friend; soon as I noticed that, I had to tweet the author and go I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.)
All in all, this was a fine read and I’m very much looking forward to reading Fraser’s newly released second book.