To all appearances, Miss Omega Chartley is a schoolteacher on holiday. In fact she is a gentlewoman fallen on hard times, left at the altar eight years earlier and forced to make her own way in the world after the loss of her family fortune. Omega’s modest tour of England is cut short when she comes to the aid of a runaway. Jamie Clevenden has fled the clutches of a brutal uncle, and Omega is determined to help him escape the law, as represented by Bow Street Runner, Mr. Timothy Platter. Aided by a kindly war veteran and his adopted daughter, the two fugitives arrive at the home of Jamie’s other uncle, the Viscount of Byford—none other than Miss Chartley’s disgraced fiancé, Matthew Bering. There Miss Chartley will finally learn the secret that Lord Byford has hidden from her all these years, the story of a dark chapter in his past that stands in the way of not only their happiness but that of his nephew. Now they must face the truth together, no matter how dire the consequences. Originally published in 1989.
A well-known veteran of the romance writing field, Carla Kelly is the author of thirty-one novels and three non-fiction works, as well as numerous short stories and articles for various publications. She is the recipient of two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America for Best Regency of the Year; two Spur Awards from Western Writers of America; two Whitney Awards, 2011 and 2012; and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times. Carla’s interest in historical fiction is a result of her lifelong study of history. She has a BA in Latin American History from Brigham Young University and an MA in Indian Wars History from University of Louisiana-Monroe. She’s held a variety of jobs, including public relations work for major hospitals and hospices, feature writer and columnist for a North Dakota daily newspaper, and ranger in the National Park Service (her favorite job) at Fort Laramie National Historic Site and Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site. She has worked for the North Dakota Historical Society as a contract researcher. Interest in the Napoleonic Wars at sea led to a recent series of novels about the British Channel Fleet during that conflict. Of late, Carla has written two novels set in southeast Wyoming in 1910 that focus on her Mormon background and her interest in ranching.read more
Reviews for Miss Chartley's Guided Tour
Miss Charley's Guided Tour is more comedy than tragedy, but it also has it's dark side. Omega Chartley was abandoned at the altar eight years ago when her fiancé, Matthew Bering, disappears and she is forced to seek a teaching position. She is touring the Cotswolds before starting a new position when she helps a runaway boy, Jamie, escape a Bow Street Runner. Jamie has been abused by his guardian and is looking for his uncle to seek refuge with. Both Jamie and Omega are now hiding from the law and they meet some wonderful characters along the way. All the characters here are three-dimensional and memorable including Jamie, Hugh, his foster daughter, Angela, and Timothy, the Bow Street Runner. There are surprises along the way and a mystery to solve before our h/h get their HEA. Kelly's characters are such 'real' people and that's what is so outstanding about her books. (Grade: B+)read more
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Miss Chartley's Guided Tour by Carla Kelly was a charming romance. It is unusual in several ways. First, it isn't about two strangers meeting and eventually falling in love. It is about lovers estranged by tragedy and lack of communication for eight years (she was left standing bewildered at the altar as he secretly fled some horrible situation involving a lot of blood on his clothes) reunited by circumstance and forced to confront both the past and the present. Clearly, Omega Chartley and Matthew Bering both still love each other, but she is justifiably angry and he is filled with shame and they need to work together in the current crisis.What crisis you ask? That brings us to the second interesting feature. Children! I have a soft spot for stories that involve children, as long as they are reasonably portrayed. In this case, a runaway boy fleeing an abusive uncle. He's seeking his other uncle, and Omega Chartley befriends him during her leisurely travel from one teaching position to another. But wait, they runaway boy, who is clearly from a well-to-do family, is being hunted by Bow Street! Our heroine runs afoul of the Runner trying to help the boy and finds herself a penniless fugitive alongside the waif.And so the third interesting feature is that this story occurs on the byways of England more than soirees and house parties of the ton. I like stories that show some of the rarely seen aspects of life in the period. In this case, some of the hardships of veterans and orphans of the war, as well as the seamier side of London and the economic concerns of rural villages. Does this book go into any significant or realistic detail on any of these? No, but it does provide a shadow of a taste without the bitterness or much of the ugliness.The weaknesses: a dastardly villain, of course, whose machinations caused all of the heartbreak and pain (yawn); the extremely tidy and rather unrealistic happy ending for everyone involved, except the villain; yet another sprained ankle forcing the lovers to deal with each other rather than run away; the rather saccharine nature of our hero and heroine and the Bow Street Runner who turns out to be a good guy after all. If I dislike everyone in the novel except the protagonists being a mean, terrible person, I like the exact reverse situation only a little less. After all, we all have our weaknesses and dark side, and pretending otherwise does not make for such a satisfying story. I like some fiber to go along with my sugar sometimes. The strengths: the characters are engaging if not particularly deep, the dialogue is often snappy, the story tackles the difficult topics of love and betrayal and forgiveness, and there's quite a bit of humor, particularly around the reunion of the lovers and the subsequent bloody nose and black eye. Good humor can make up for a lot. So this book is a keeper, for now.read more
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