Historical Romance Review: Nobility Ranch (aka To Love a Lady) by Cynthia Stirling


An English lady runs away to Texas, in pursuit of a groom.

Lady Cecily Thorndale has lived her whole life preparing for her future role as wife to the Earl of Devonshire. But when the future Earl, Charles Worthington, goes to Texas to oversee land the family has purchased – and stays there – Cecily decides the only thing to do is to track him down. Arriving in Texas with her lady’s maid and all the determination she can muster, Cecily sets out to conquer both the new world and her reluctant fiancé. She captivates her new neighbors and shows Charles that the one thing that’s been missing from his adventurous life is her. Originally published in 2000 under the title Nobility Ranch, To Love a Lady is the first volume in the Titled Texans series about a family of English nobility who set out to tame the American west. With humor, romance and authentic historical detail, To Love a Lady takes readers on a romantic journey to 1880s Texas.


Reviewed by Blue Falcon


The Book

This review is of Nobility Ranch (e-book title To Love a Lady), book #1 of 3 in the “Titled Texans” series from July 2000 by Cynthia Sterling.

The Plot

The book takes place in Fairweather, Texas, circa 1882. Lady Cecily Anne Thorndale, the heroine of the book, has come to Texas to find her fiance’, Charles Edward Worthington, Lord Silsbee, the hero of the book, and get him to marry her. The thing is, Charles came to Texas to get away from marrying Cecily in England. (Charles came to Texas to manage a ranch his father and a business syndicate own).

Cecily’s arrival in Texas is memorable, as she is arrested for being a prostitute (she’s not, but she was in the company of three of them when arrested). Charles bails her out and takes her-and the three prostitutes-to his ranch, the Double Crown, also known as Nobility Ranch. Despite taking her to his home, Charles is not happy that Cecily is in Texas and spends a large portion of the book trying to get her to return to England. As the book goes on, Charles’ reasons for his behavior are revealed. Later, Cecily and Charles get a little push to realize that they truly do love each other.

Later, Charles’ younger brother, Reg, arrives. Like Charles, Reg has been sent to Texas to manage another ranch. By doing this, however, the Silsbee brothers acquire an enemy in local sheriff John Grady, who owned the ranch Reg will now be managing. (Charles has been at odds with Grady since the beginning of the book). Charles and Grady call a truce by the end of the book.

In the end, Charles is called to England by his father, who is ill. Cecily goes with him. On the way, they marry. Will their Happily Ever After be in England or Texas? You’ll have to read the series to find out!


Ms. Sterling has an easy, flowing writing style that is both complex and easy to understand. She immediately brought me into her story of Nobility Ranch, making me feel like I was in Fairweather, Texas, circa 1882, and watching her characters’ lives rather than reading words on a screen on my Kindle.

Cecily and Charles are both engaging, well-developed characters, and Ms. Sterling chronicles their relationship in a very linear way that creates and holds interest. She also introduces multiple other relationships and supporting characters who will appear in the later books in the series.

I also like the theme running through the series: when society has expectations for us, our families have expectations for us, and we have expectations for ourselves, which path do we take? The heroes and heroines of the “Titled Texans” series will answer those questions, in ways that may surprise readers, and even the characters themselves.


Nothing really that I can find.


One love scene between Cecily and Charles, that is fairly good, but not terribly erotic.


No “on-screen” violence, but one off-screen act of violence, which is not graphic.

Bottom Line

Ms. Sterling gets her “Titled Texans” series off to a great start with Nobility Ranch/To Love a Lady. It’s not a 5-star book, but it is a very good one.

4.44 star

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