Bantam, Aug 2003, 6.50, 320 pp.
In 1861 Lady Eva Sparrow flees the boredom of aristocratic Victorian England to explore the United States. Her plan is to travel from New York to Texas and back before returning to her homeland. Though she heard of slavery and felt appalled that someone could treat another human as property, Eva becomes outraged to see the plight of blacks when she reaches Natchez, Mississippi, but has no idea how she can help.
Though a Texan, Ryder Drake is a Union spymaster with agents throughout the Confederacy. He does not trust women with his work or his heart, but soon finds himself in the uncomfortable position of needing Eva, whom he just met. She, with her feet in several worlds, is his best hope to prevent a plot to assassinate Queen Victoria.
NEVER TRUST A LADY reads more like a fine historical novel than a Civil War romance though there is a love subplot between the lead couple. The story line focuses more on the British involvement in the war including the seemingly paradoxical support of the south. Fans of solid Civil War novels that focus on the historical elements with a pinch of romance will appreciate this book more than those in the audience who prefer the romance take top billing.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner