5/5; 5 stars; A+To me this is historical romance at its finest and a perfect example of why I love this author. In the beginning when she was describing the life of the family of a gambling addict I could feel the hopelessness and despair in the air. It was that vivid. As the story progressed, the characters along the way became equally as vivid. One of the things I admire about this author is her ability to create believable characters and to make the historical setting come to life. She also portrays the different classes in society in a way that allows a person from this century to get an inkling of how great the gulf was between the aristocracy and the working classes. This story not only had a lovely romance but it also told the story of the people who loved the soldiers and followed the drum throughout the numerous battlefields of Europe. Highly recommended.