Berkley, Nov 2001, 5.99, 337 pp.
In 1816, Lady Arielle Stanford wants to become a doctor though England has never had a female physician. Her goal has turned obsessive as she ignores everything else in her life except her pursuit of medicine. Even Arielle's friends consider her a harmless eccentric who they expect will end up on the shelf because she neglects the important things in society.
Marquess Hunter Braxton has just returned home from the victory over Napoleon. All he wants right now is to tend to his estate and forget about the affairs of state. Arielle concludes she needs help from a hero and chooses Hunter, whose reputation for providing assistance to people is well known among the Ton. Though he agrees to see Arielle achieve her dream, he has his own idea about what profession suits Arielle. He prefers she practice medicine on him only because he wants his beoved's job to be his wife.
DEAREST BELOVED is an exciting Regency romance that those readers who do not mind a medical anachronism or two (Christine Holden admits to taking poetic license) will find quite delightful. The story line moves forward rather quickly and fans will find the lead couple likable and admirable. This novel will please the Regency audience, who are beholden to the author for her powerful historical romances.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner