Prelude for a Lord

Title:  Prelude for a Lord
Author:  Camille Elliot
Pages:  343
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Zondervan
Bayard Terralton, Lord Dommick, has returned from war against Napoleon, but the fighting inside him continues.  He suffers from what today is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He travels to Bath, England to protect his sister from an unwanted suitor and to ensure her reputation is intact before she has her first season in London in the spring.  Two of his three best friends travel with him, with the third still fighting Napoleon.  The four friends form a musical quartet that became famous before the war with Napoleon.  While escorting his sister to social events in Bath, he encounters Lady Alethea Sutherton.  At first he thinks she looks familiar, but can’t remember her specifically.  She soon sets him straight, but also needs his help tracing the provenance of her violin as someone is trying to steal it from her.  If Bay can solve the mystery, his family’s reputation will be restored.
Lady Alethea Sutherton has been forced from her home after her brother’s death and the title going to a cousin.  She has been hurt physically or emotionally by most of the people in her life with the exception of her half-sister and her neighbor in the country, a woman who taught her the love of music and especially the love of playing the violin.  This playing of the violin is not socially acceptable so Alethea is shunned by society.  Her father never had any use for a daughter and her brother was just going to sell her off in marriage to one of his friends before he unexpectedly died.  She has always felt alone and ostracized.  She has given up on God as he has let her be hurt so many times.  She trusts no man, but has a special disdain for Lord Dommick.  She met him 11 years previous after one of his concerts where he declared women had no place playing the violin.  Now, seeing him again, the old resentment is in full force.  However, she can’t alienate him too much as she needs his help finding information on her violin.  Things take a more dangerous turn as the story plays out.
With great skill, the author uses words to make the music come alive in the pages of this wonderful book.  My heart was stirred as I read about how the music was played, how it was received by listeners and how the joy of it infiltrated the heart.  I have always enjoyed Regency era books and this one will definitely be on my “keeper” shelf.  As I closed the book after reading the last page, my thought was that this was a truly great book that I enjoyed immensely.  The characters are deftly presented so readers can connect with them and care what happens to them.  The plot is unique to me, involving a mysterious violin.  There was a classic romance, but yet poignant and touching.  Faith was well-woven into the latter portion of the story.  I hope there are more of these attention-capturing Regency stories from this author.  I can’t wait for more!
My rating is 5 stars.

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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