HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Book Review: other works by Gillian Kaye

Posted by HelenEdith on August 5, 2009

Having just reviewed The Scheming Mr Cleeve, I decided to go back through my Book Review file and pull out some older reviews of work by Gillian Kaye and share those, too.

The Handsome Smuggler

This novel is set in 1793 at the time of the French Revolution, but it’s a novel set in England.

Fenella Hadleigh has been involved in a scandal (not of her making) in London and her parents have sent her to Dorset to stay with her aunt and uncle until the scandal blows over.

Fenella had been prepared to do her duty and marry the rich man who proposed to her, but is actually very relieved when he’s killed in a duel. She is a spirited girl, and defies her aunt by taking unaccompanied walks. During these walks, she manages to meet both smugglers and the riding officer who is trying to catch the smugglers. It soon becomes apparent that her sympathy lies on the side of the smugglers, particularly when one very handsome smuggler turns out to be a local landowner.

Fenella treats gunshot wounds and generally keeps the riding officer at bay as the stakes rise with French refugees being smuggled in as well as brandy.

The whole thing is complicated because Fenella is falling in love with her handsome smuggler, but he’s already engaged to Juliet. Then Juliet falls in love with one of the French refugees, but says that she will still go ahead with her marriage to Sir Alexander Knowle, despite loving Louis. Sir Alexander won’t cry off from his engagement, but keeps hoping that Juliet will. How it’s all resolved makes an entertaining tale.

The Enigmatic Mr Farrar

This book is in the style of a Regency Romance, although it’s set in Swaledale and not in London.

It also manages to pack in three different romances: that of Judith Piercy and Devlin Farrar, which is a romance fraught with difficulties; the romance of Judith’s brother Gerard with the young writer Miss Alice Boston, also fraught with difficulties due to the machinations of her elder sister; and the romance which is promoted by Judith and Gerald between Judith’s rejected suitor Harold Mefcalf and Alice’s older sister.

Judith has a second rejected suitor, Harvey, and while this book doesn’t manage to get him all settled down, it looks like Judith’s younger sister Emma will get together with him when she’s a year or two older!

It was an enjoyable read as these Regency Romances usually are.

The Proud Mr Peverill

This is a romance set at the time of the Peninsular War. Miss Anna Starkie, who lives near Bath, has refused her neighbour Mr Christopher Boyd on numerous occasions, but now she has a new neighbour, Mr Phillippe Peverill, with whom she seems to share that elusive spark.

Mr Peverill is somewhat mysterious, though, coming and going at odd times, leaving only his cousin at home. All kinds of rumours circulate locally about what Mr Peverill might be doing during his absences, but Anna finds out the truth.

She leads an exciting life as a result, and gets into some interesting scrapes. It’s the sort of book where it all comes out right at the end, though, even for the rejected Mr Christopher Boyd, who finds someone far more suitable than Anna for himself!

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