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A Bucket of Ashes (Gilded Age, Bk 6)
A Bucket of Ashes - Gilded Age, Bk 6
Author: P. B. Ryan
Nell's reputation as a model governess is threatened by a secret from her past-and the possibility that she might be carrying Will Hewitt's child. But these problems pale with what she learns: that the body of her only remaining brother has been discovered -- and that he was wanted for murder.
ISBN-13: 9780425218730
ISBN-10: 0425218732
Publication Date: 12/4/2007
Pages: 288
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 26 ratings
Publisher: Berkley
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed A Bucket of Ashes (Gilded Age, Bk 6) on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Quoted from my review @

Comments: Nell has a lot on her plate. Her only surviving sibling, Jamie, is dead. He was a fugitive, wanted for the murder of Susannah Cunningham. Also occupying her mind is that fact that she's pregnant with Will's baby and Will is in France. In the previous book, the American ambassador asked President Grant for an experienced battle surgeon, and Will was offered the job. Nell even begins to question whether Will - rootless vagabond, cardsharp, and recovering addict - can ever truly settle down. He didn't take the teaching job, which he loved. Nell knows he went to France for her sake. However, with a child's future in question, Nell can't help but wonder. Regardless of what she thinks of Will, the fact she needs a divorce first, and soon, remains.

With so much uncertainty in her future, it is a small relief to know that her mentor and former lover, Dr. Greaves is offering her so much support. He knows that Nell is pregnant and that her heart belongs to Will, even as she questions his reliability. Dr. Greaves is just the type person Nell needs in her life at the moment, especially when word reaches the Hewitts that the American ambassador has "lost" his battle surgeon. Ms. Ryan - thankfully - chose not to heap another heartache on Nell (and her readers) by permanently separating the couple. Will does return from France alive, if a bit worse for wear.

Other reviewers have stated that they were disappointed on how easily Nell's problems were solved. I admit that the book felt rushed, but I thought that the resolution wasn't as easily wrapped up as it could have been. What I mean by that is the author didn't take an easy way out - killing off Duncan in a prison fight/riot, for instance - off-screen and no fretting about what the Hewitts will do if and when they find out about Nell's past. That would have been too pat. Instead, the author makes Nell deal with having to explain herself to Viola Hewitt, and find a way to get a quiet, and quick, divorce.

Favorite Quotes:
"The only reason you feel unworthy of that award is that you're mired in your old notion of yourself as flawed and undeserving. Frankly, I'm beginning to find that refrain fairly tedious."
"I've never known you to be quiet the pitiless shrew. I find it captivating."
- Nell, Will
reviewed A Bucket of Ashes (Gilded Age, Bk 6) on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a wonderful conclusion to a series I wish would never end. The characters were so alive, and the author's attention to detail brought you into their world so easily.

Nell receives news that her brother Jamie has been killed and that he was a suspect in a murder. She seeks the truth with the help of Will Hewitt who has returned from serving Napolean's army in France.

Without giving away any goodies, suffice it to say that I enjoyed this series immensely, so much so that it is on my keeper shelf. Ms. Ryan outdid herself from the first book to the last and I will look forward to other series written by her
reviewed A Bucket of Ashes (Gilded Age, Bk 6) on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. Couldn't wait to get to the end.
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