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Major Disaster It was clear to Lydia Perkins from the first that she was courting scandal when she became involved with Major Samuel Reed This outrageously impudent officer kept deplorable company in dismal surroundings beyond the boundaries of polite society Even worse he was shamelessly sinfully pennilessTo keep him company would ruin Lydia's already slim chances in the marriage mart To listen to the shocking proposal he made to her would spell ruin to her good name To run away with him in a mockery of marriage on a honeymoon journey through the wilds of England was the ultimate folly for a young lady whose family demanded she wed both wisely and well Could Lydia say I do and accept the Major for better or for worse or would she risk losing the only man who had ever captured her heart?

10 thoughts on “With This Ring

  1. says:

    I am a stickler for reading a prologue or an author's note at the beginning of a book WITH THIS RING contained both Read them They tie into the storyline and give the reader a 'heads up' Mrs Kelly wrote a brief history of the real life character General Thomas Picton; he showed up on than one occasion She also explained the reason why the hero Major Sam Reed needed a wifeThe oldest daughter of a vindictive and snobbish mother and a long suffering father Lydia Perkins was a member of the ton Her much favored sister Kitty was a diamond of the first water but was foolish It appeared as though she had a pocket of air between her two ears This family was the definition of dysfunctional long before the word came into vogue As is typical in romances by this author the story was told in third person but the lead characters 'talk to themselves' using the first person tense Also Mrs Kelly was not afraid to include some very earthy but natural moments And unlike many Signet regency romances this was not a silly fluffy narrative Blood and death followed the soldiers from the battlefield of Toulouse A case in point was how Lydia met Sam Unaware of the true reason behind the invitation to visit a ward of injured soldiers Lydia was ashamed that members of the ton were there to gawk and witness death Without thinking she took it upon herself to offer support to the men And in short made herself a friendBe aware that unlike most Signet romances and after their marriage Lydia and Sam eventually had sex It was a healthy union in that respect It was not too descriptive some kissing and mild groping The acts themselves fade to blackIf you have never read a story by this author I would suggest you start with The Lady's Companion or Her Hesitant Heart my personal favorite If you already enjoy Mrs Kelly's romances then add this one to your to read list Sam had a few moments Lydia wept than once for that matter so did Sam but the plot was entertaining and there was a nice HEA

  2. says:

    This is a Cinderella story about a badly misused girl whose family offers no support or love and a Major recovering from wounds he acuired during the Peninsular War The Major due to his need for funds had his friend invent a wife for him and now that he has to return home he fills this position with a girl who has been turned out of her own home They enter into a marriage of convenienceThere are some historical inaccuracies the most glaring ones being1 Mail coaches were expensive drove mostly at night were very fast and were never packed as they deliberately only admitted a few passengers at a time so CK meant a stage coach not a mail coach when she spoke of the initial stages of the couple's journey2 It makes no sense at all that they should travel from London to Northumberland via Coventry As this map shows neither is Coventry on the way between the two nor did mail coach routes lead that way between the point of origin and the point of destination3 As far as I am aware Almack's balls took place on Wednesdays not on Fridays And there were some plot inconsistencies and things that were really bloody unlikely most glaring ones being1 Lydia's barbershop stint to raise money for their continuing journey rather than drawing the Major's title to borrow money from the highest ranking person locally not to mention drawing on Sir Percy whom the Major does not mention for no adeuately explained reason2 The aunt giving money to the Major because he is married even though she knows he isn't either him being married is so important to her that she does not fund his improvements to his estate until he is married or it is not so very important to her after all it makes little sense that she wavers somewhere in betweenThere is probably but despite all this I gave the book four stars because frankly from start to finish I was entertained and amused I rather liked the main character Lydia even though she cries too much for my liking and I liked the beta type hero Major Reed Their romance is sweet despite the presence of sex it is never smutty or profane so it is very tastefully handled The dialogue was amusing the writing competent and it's easy forgive the above when I finished the book with a smile on my face An enjoyable read overall

  3. says:

    I often mention how Balogh is my favourite regency writer When I realised I had read most of her back list I went in search of another author who be as satisfying Although I haven't loved every Carla Kelly I've read I think I can safely say that I always open her books knowing that a good well written and original story will come out of it This book has been in my TBR pile for than three years now so it seemed like the perfect pick for this months challenge regencies are a classic of the romance genre and so are marriage of convenience type plots such as the one we find hereOne of things I like most in Kelly's books is how she picks common people with worries and troubles that always make them seem real She paints a colourful picture of the regency period but unlike most books out there she focuses on the changes the war brought In this story the heroine finds herself helping care for wounded soldiers who are kept in terrible conditions and are viewed by the ton as a source of amusementThere meets Major Sam Reed and as she becomes close to him and his man they start developing a relationship of sorts But when Lydia decides to champion the wounded soldier's cause she is thrown out of the house by her mother and her only recourse is to accept Major Reed's offer of a marriage of convenience To placate his mother and aunt while he was fighting in the Peninsula he told them he was married and now he must present a wife when he gets homeAnd so Lydia and Sam journey to Northumberland to Sam's ancestral house and on the way they deepen their friendship their affection grows and they also meet some perils and unexpected turnsI really enjoyed to see their relationship develop I liked both Lydia and Sam and although Sam's story seemed to crazy to be true the fact is that it was great fun to see them try to follow things to the letter and then discover that there was really no need I liked how they had moral values and worries other than a pretty dress or your next ball I also liked the glimpses that Kelly gives us of the historical background connected to the warThis made for a very satisfying read and as the blurb on the cover of the book says Carla Kelly is always a joy to readGrade 455

  4. says:

    A beautiful love story about a marriage of convenience with a heroine who is a real women who suffers and fights and has weaknesses unlike all the other typical romance novels Lydia is a normal woman with an unsatisfactory life living in a family that fails to acknowledge her worth Sam is the Major back from war but suffering war injuries and hoping that he can find a lady to marry to cover up some drunken lies from 2 years past to his family I enjoyed this story mostly because of the growing relationship that they had that did not follow a fairy tale pattern and followed a real course Lydia did not fall in love at first sight Sam is not the omnipotent man that protects his woman from all evils It had a taste of a modern style writing with realism anchoring the characters There was no glamor and there was no need for it Possibly my only complaint was the long amount of time that was spent on her taking care of her unconscious invalid husband and she grew as a strong self sufficient person It was almost like a coming of age novel with that part Not bad but I would have enjoyed interactions between the HH

  5. says:

    Premise heroine is the oldest daughter in a dysfunctional provincial family that has come to London to marry off their very beautiful younger daughter To meet young people of uality the shrewish mother of the family forces the daughters to go visit a makeshift hospital for wounded veterans of the Napoleonic wars The younger daughter who is a twit conveniently and attractively faints and has to be taken home But the older daughter stays and begins to assist the wounded She meets an Army officer who is also an aristocrat who for complicated reasons reuires a wife ASAP and after her own family throws her out she marries him and roadtrips back to his home in the north of England Carla Kelly is a very good writer There are some odd little blips in this story but the prose is so smooth and goo the characters are real humans It's just very good if you're in the market for a uiet little Regency story where not that much happens and it's mostly about two people learning to deal with each other This isn't a book where the sexual tension or attraction is very intense It's a pretty uiet book The heroine's family is very cruel to the heroine and the book seems to feel that she needs to toughen up and learn that she can take care of herself and her new husband so there's an extended seuence in a small village where she learns to support them in difficult circumstances Even though hero and heroine are both of the ruling classes the significant majority of the book takes places in very humble settings It was a different and refreshing read if you've read too many carbon copy season in London books in a row

  6. says:

    The thing I like about Kelly's books is that the stories are about commonreal people with some real problems and issues They're pretty earthy and not just about the fripperies and fancies like in other HFs A sweet romantic story with likeable hero and heroine The troubles facing them were somewhat unbelievable in case of Sam but overall an entertaining and likeable read

  7. says:

    I've liked most of what I've read by Carla Kelly but this one was not for me I don't like plots predicated on THE LIE and this one lasted until nearly the end Plus the circumstances are bit contrived to say the least The story would've been so much better had we heard from the H's perspective as well I think this is the first story I've read by this author that did not have at least two different povs if not The H's feelings and thoughts about the h would have done a lot to make this story interesting As it was however the h bored me The beginning third of this story was much better than the rest The series of events that led the MCs getting to know each other was interesting and poignant However once the tension of her horrid family disappeared everything started to go downhill This story was safe and there was no OP drama The H didn't seem to be a rake either which is another plus in my book However this story was just plain strange

  8. says:

    A lovely Carla Kelly Horrid mum and sister they were unforgettableAdded to say such a poignant Cinderella story I defy anyone to read it and not get a lump in their throat The hero rescues the heroine from a cruel situation she has been escaping to help minister to wounded soldiers and that's where they meet Part road trip part misunderstanding this unlikely couple faces formidable medical and financial challenges with elan and courage

  9. says:

    My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts for visit Punya ReviewsI’m on my usual Carla Kelly book binge and just finished another of her earlier works With This Ring Have to say this one didn’t uite float my boat Very unfortunate because I loved it for the first 60% so then it lost its sparkle and ended with a dull thud instead of the bang I was hoping forLydia eldest daughter of a somewhat wealthy peer is no catch at all Or so her mother keeps drumming into her She’s too plain too clumsy too forward too this too that; someone who has nothing to be proud of On the other hand her mother’s pride and joy is her youngest daughter the beautiful Kitty like their mother in looks and dubious charms than Lydia will ever be Lydia probably takes after her meek father so meek that I forgot his title LOL who is always afraid of his wife and tip toes around hiding away in the library when the sound of tantrums from his wife or youngest daughter is heard from the other side of the houseLydia’s ‘mother’ loves abusing her in every way possible just because she’s not good enough in her eyes to catch an earl or a maruess The reason why they’re in London right now is to give Kitty a Season who according to their mother will surely catch the best bachelor in town with her golden locks and baby blue eyes Who is also tall and graceful and uite completely ‘empty in the brainbox’ as someone with some sense termed her in the book She’s also uite snooty spoiled selfish and mean Her mamma has trained her well after her own shallow self D Both of these worthless POS gave Lydia so much trouble and pain that the poor girl had no self confidence left She was made to become a meek biddable maid of all tricks without any pay for Kitty and her mother I mean at one point I was thinking how can I even explain the things I’m reading? There are simply no wordsOne day while accompanying Kitty to the latest ‘cool thing’ that every cool people of the Ton were doing which was to visit the filthy stinky wounded or dying soldiers in the eually filthy rat infested St Barnabas a crumbling church Lydia had the most eye opening experience of her life While her sister was just striking a pose here and crunching up her face in disgust there but she had to make herself look ‘cool’ among the other visiting ‘cool’ Ton peeps Lydia was overcome with sadness by the sight of these soldiers Obviously the care they received was extremely inadeuate The few doctors and volunteers couldn’t uite keep up And death was everywhere Some soldiers came here almost dead some stuck around for a few days until one infection or the other took over and handed them over to a slow painful death Some of them were not uite at death’s door but suffering still with a limb or limbs lost or with a horrible wound somewhere in their body Much like Major Sam Reed who was one of the best that fought under General Thomas Picton Lydia meets him while tending to other soldiers She couldn’t just stand there and watch them suffer She felt a visceral need to give them a bit of warmth and whatever comfort she could offer as they lay dying She was a woman possessed even when somewhere in her brain she knew her mother would be so mad she may kick her out of their home for ‘sullying their name’ with these ‘common filthy soldiers’ But at that time she simply didn’t care And Sam Reed who had a vicious saber wound on his back was nothing if not honorable and uite persuasive when the occasion called for it Who also cared about his own men so much so he didn’t move to a better care when it was offered cause his men were suffering here Someone was intent on lopping off his head so he was one lucky bastard to still have that attached is how Sam liked to think about the whole thing to bear the excruciating pain on his back that kept him up day and night Lydia came into his dreary world with such freshness and so much hope that he had only eyes for her She felt it too beginning to care for Sam uite unknowinglyI will not divulge just how Sam made The General himself to go over at Lydia’s and ‘persuade’ her mother so Lydia could come back and continue to help at St Barnabas because that was uite the brilliant scene It was just so much fun to read Also there was the scene where huge bouuets of flowers were send by Sam to impress her mother It struck the woman into uite a state of speechless; probably her first in so many years | It happened when one of his deputies who accompanied her home took one look at her mother also heard a few choice lines from her mouth and knew what Lydia has to deal with every single day To the Major Lydia coming to St Barnabas was a fruitful venture for everyone concerned She won everyone over with her strong personality which was hidden beneath all those years of abuse and kindness For the first time in her life Lydia felt genuinely neededThe author spun Lydia and Sam’s relationship over the couple chapters in such mastery that I was anticipating every single page to see what happens next It was a slow built but the attraction and something else was there no doubt Sam would stare at her uite intensely at times and Lydia would feel butterflies especially when they all told her she’s uite beautiful and smells wonderful That she’s uite tidy and hardworking and very careful with the soldiers’ wounds while giving them a wash or trimming their hair and shaving them Then one day Lydia does the unthinkable While attending a soiree with her mother and Kitty she finds herself with the so called ‘cool people’ of Ton who had been around St Barnabas Those were the people who stood apart from the stinking solders made faces then went away without offering anything at all Recently two POS snobs made a horrible wager on a dying soldier something Lydia couldn’t even imagine someone with a little soul doing to another human being It didn’t end well when Major Reed got involved and Lydia knew she will have to pay for it Words spread uickly and in that soiree things took a terrible turn First she finds out those were Kitty’s bosom buddies and her mother is enraged when Lydia tries to warn Kitty off those imbeciles In that soiree they start ignoring Kitty because of Lydia which inevitably turn into a tantrum from Kitty But the worst was yet to come When it turned out that one of those wagering aholes were going to be mentioned in honor for ‘visiting the wounded at St Barnabas’ is when Lydia lost it She was so angry that she forgets that she’s the meek and biddable Lydia That after this her mother will certainly kick her out Lydia stands tall and narrates what has REALLY been happening in St Barnabas The pain the suffering the horrible condition in which the Heroes of this country are kept until they’re released; either from the hospital or from this world And the humiliation they took from the so called high profile visitorsWhile Lydia’s little speech earns the soldiers still at St Barnabas the much needed comfort and help it earns Lydia a slap on her face so hard that she was bleeding from it Then there was that inevitable threat from her mother a subtle but not so subtle ‘I will make you pay for what you did to my poor Kitty’s chances at the marriage mart’ From her own mother the woman who gave birth to her I couldn’t even imagine SMH Lydia knew either she’d be kicked out or made to leave for Devon their country home and will never see London again She’d probably be exiled there for the rest of her life alone and ignoredSo Lydia had to think fast She gathered her meager belongings and a few coins her father gave her and ran out when no one was watching Major Reed wasn’t there at St Barnabas so Lydia finds herself in a big dilemma What will she do? Where will she go? She has no help barely any money to speak of She doesn’t know anyone here and the skills she possess she doubts will help her get a decent honorable job She’s good at mending and does excellent haircut She could even stretch her expertise and shave men But there was no way she could earn anything with these skillsFortunately she does find Major Reed who took one look at her and knew what has happened He has heard of the debacle of the other night and knew despite everything Lydia already had uite a few admirers But at that moment she had no one and she sought him out Incidentally there was one other pressing matter that Sam needed to attend to He needed to find a wife and soon before he could travel to his home at Northumberland You see it all started as a joke from one of his good friend Percy Sam needs the money from his elderly and rich as Croesus maternal Aunt to take care of his own estate His Aunt is childless so Sam is supposed to inherit it all However because his father was a notorious womanizer her Aunt gave him the ultimatum He must marry and work to produce an heir as soon as possible to show that he’s settling down and serious about the matter at handNow Sam though not a saint hasn’t ever been anything like his father But he had no time to court anyone or produce anything in between the bouts of war in the past 6 yrs since he’d joined the army But Percy damn his hide had made sure through some letters that he had a wife whom he’d married somewhere in the battlefield Not only that he and his Delightful they were drunk don’t ask now had a daughter as well Now where will he find a wife and make a daughter in such a short notice? What will he do if his Aunt is put off and crosses him off her will? Sam had a lot on his mind and it wasn’t just that nasty wound on his back which he felt was festering because it wasn’t taken care of wellLydia came as a solution to him of course He liked her no make that adored her But he wasn’t good with words yet she seemed to be amenable to his offer of a MOC which could be annulled secretly later if they didn’t want to make it real As for Lydia she had such a crush on the not uite handsome but there’s something about him Major Reed that she would do that and for him Plus there was the matter that she had nowhere to go At least now she’ll have a husband and a country estate until she could think of something else Cherry on top Major Reed was also an Earl even if impoverished titled as Lord Laren How surprised her mother would be now?So they were Mr and Mrs Reed AKA Lord and Lady Laren on the same day They even adopt a small child from an orphanage to complete the ruse Up until that bit I was really enjoying the story Actually I was loving it when they started their journey together towards Sam’s estate It was uite a bit of ride at another side of England and Lydia became increasingly worried about Sam’s injury He was in constant pain Even though General Picton’s surgeon had a look at his wound and cleaned it he couldn’t do it well cause Sam couldn’t handle it Lydia knew something had to be done or else it could prove to be fatal But Sam was stubborn as hell and wouldn’t let her do anything Break came in the form of a robbery where Sam is wounded again This incident marks as a prominent part of the story which will later push Lydia’s boundaries as a woman to see how far she’ll go to keep her husband and child safe and sound From a meek abused girl her transformation into someone with amazing willpower and grace would make anyone happy for her Lydia will also learn that people like her mother and sister aren’t the only type in the world Thankfully there are people out there who may not be rich with coins but they’re rich with kindness and goodwillAs Sam got well Lydia does her best to keep him that way They even manage to consummate the marriage at one point However even as the days passed and the time nears when they’d have to leave this village where Sam was recuperating Lydia becomes increasingly demoralized Even when she was happy Sam seemed to remind her of the origin of their marriage uite often Not with any malicious intent but still The reminder was there like a millstone She was reminded that all these were the part of a greater plan and not because they were crazy in love Well she certainly had fallen in love with Sam but does he love her at all? She couldn’t tell Nor could she hide her anxiety stemmed from the years of battered self confidence She wasn’t sure if she could pull this ruse off successfully cause in her mind it wasn’t a MOC any longer She loved her husband and wanted a complete marriage where she won’t have to hide her identity to anyoneMy doubt over Sam’s intentions was also beginning to pile up at this point Did he really like her or just took advantage of her vulnerability? Yes he seemed to care for her but I wasn’t uite sure of anything any longer After all that Lydia has done for him Sam was uite rude to her a few times his mind full of various plans to make this work at any cost It can’t fail; something he had emphasized upon a few times to Lydia That’s all he could think of I could try to understand him but I decided I was concerned for Lydia’s state of mind than his financial woes He came off as someone very self centered He knew how beat up Lydia was psychologically yet he did basically nothing to soothe her or tell her how he felt It ruined my image of him to a certain extent Actually uite a bitAfter that with the intro to Sam’s family when they reach his estate the story began to rush Their relationship at that point seemed rather dismal Well the physical aspect of it was not harmed but emotionally Lydia was dying a bit inside each day with so much uncertainties weighing in; with trying to keep up with such a gigantic ruse not of her making yet she’d become an inescapable part of She got involved thinking of Sam because he made her feel so good so wanted Only she didn’t know how deep it would’ve gone couldn’t imagine how much it would hurt her She was still very unsure of her place in Sam’s life even after all they’ve been through together and it almost killed me that he was so SO callous knowing she needed assurance It seemed he became so completely immersed in his homecoming glory that he almost didn’t notice Lydia’s feelings about it all The relationship that took so many pages to build full of such trials and tribulations didn’t seem uite as strong as I had initially thought It hurt me almost as much as Lydia herself and it’s no joke I was in pain for her and wanted to box Sam’s earsThe author didn’t do enough to make me like Sam again cause the story ends pretty fast after the last bit of ‘drama’ which was unnecessary IMO and kinda stupid I needed pages of pure unadulterated groveling Nothing else would’ve worked Sam should’ve kissed Lydia feet twice a day which I didn’t see him doing so it was a disappointment of supreme proportions 35 stars

  10. says:

    Another lovely book by Carla Kelly At this point I think she will never disappoint me From the 4 books I've read I have to say this would be in position nr 4 That does not mean it was not good thoughOnce again both characters are extremely likeable Lydia and Major Sam Reed Lydia lives as Cinderella having to take care of her beautiful but stupid younger sister and her mother abuses her Gosh how I hated them I mean is not that it is her step mother but her mother She treats Lydia as a servant and likes to point out how plain her daughter is and how many prospects she has for her younger daughter Kitty was not better; she was stupid and whinny and selfish And her father Very weak character who does nothing for her eldest daughterSo they may catch a husband for Kitty both girls go to a church where the soldiers are the war just ended There both girls show their true colors Kitty was a selfish silly girl and Lydia as compassionate and helpful to others She meets many soldiers who are wounded and reuire attention and among them is Major Reed The chemistry between Sam and Lydia is instantaneous; such a camaraderie It was very sweet from the very first moment Besides the need of a wife for Sam was a very funny storyLydia begins to feel braver because of the way soldiers are treated by the ton and due some speech she makes in a party and after being abused by her horrible mother she leaves the house Somehow she ends up being married and being a mother in charge of a wounded husband an orphan girl and in need of moneyLydia is a wonderful character She is never depressed even when she has to be she is brave and she is the one who saves her new family She does not need a man because she can do it on her own although I would have loved if Sam was useful She is not a prude who is embarrassed to do things or who regrets to do things or who gets desperate when she needs help or who gets angry for silly thingsThe story that Sam and his friend made up about him being married for some time and having a daughter only to please his mother and aunt was a lot of fun But I also think that poor Lydia had a lot in so little time She never complains or pities herself but to be a mother before even consummate the marriage To take care of a wounded husband To be in the middle of nowhere with no moneyAnd I must confess I love the covers of Signet Regencies They are really sweet Like in this book it shows Lydia cutting Sam's hair she does that a lot and they look happy It is when they may have started to fall in love Of course you can't never tell in CK's books because the falling in love is graduate and due to little thingsIt is very clean and not cliche at all If it were Kitty and her mother may have gotten what they deserve Ah well