This is my #1 favorite of ALL historical romances ever written! This follows the real life romance of a Spanish noble girl to an officer of Wellington’s army after the Siege of Badajoz. She is brought by her aunt to the British Army’s camp seeking protection from the soldiers sacking the town after the prolonged and bloody siege. Brigade-Major Harry Smith takes one look at her and knows she’s the one for him. Juana stays with Harry through the campaigns in Portugal and Spain and to France. They are parted when Harry is sent to America. Harry returns just in time to be sent to take part in the Battle of Waterloo.
As a side note, this is a wonderful companion to the first few episodes of the Sharpe’s Rifles series… I would look up the location and time of a particular episode, then find the matching segment of this book and read it first… the series really brought the book to life, and the book gave a deeper human and more personal perspective to the episodes. Also, as an accurate historical depiction of real events, this book has it’s own Wikipedia entry!