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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
It's 1860 in England and Elena Dryfess is picking herbs as her sister Mary Margaret has their meal ready to eat. Mary Margaret lovingly touches the elegant china plates she uses to set the table in their small cottage home. They both recall earlier times of happiness followed by pain and terror. Back then their mother, Doris Madison, had worked as housekeeper for Lord and Lady Birmingham. Lord Robert Birmingham is sickly but kind but Lady Evelyn, his wife, is nasty. Elena spends time with Daniel Dryfess who works on the Birmingham's farm estate, but Mary Margaret is in love with Lord Charles Birmingham, the son and of Lord and Lady Birmingham. Lord Charles and Mary Margaret run off to Gretna Green to marry, and when they return home, Lord Robert is happy but Lady Evelyn is furious. Will these two pairs of lovers survive over the years?
"When Fate Steps In" is a well-written and well-edited historical romance that readers will enjoy. The characters of Elena, Daniel, Charles and Mary Margaret, Lord Robert, Doris, Andy and his mother are created well, but Lady Evelyn Birmingham needs to be much less evil to fit into the storyline. Perhaps she was mistreated as a child or made to marry Lord Robert when she really loved someone else. Andy's as well as his mother's role in the story needs to be more than vindictive. Perhaps their family was treated cruelly by accident. The introduction of James who is Mary Margaret and Charles' kidnapped son the at story's end is nicely played out and readers will like adding "When Fate Steps In" to their reading lists.