HelenEdith's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘regencyromance’

Book Review: Loretta Chase – Not Quite a Lady

Posted by HelenEdith on September 6, 2009

(A Carsington Regency romance)

This is another in the series of Regency Romances where the Carsington brothers meet their matches. This time it is the turn of Darius, the studious one, who is interested in all things agricultural. His father, Lord Hargate, packs him off to turn around Beechwood, a property which has been in Chancery for a number of years while the previous owner’s Will was sorted out.

Now Beechwood adjoins another property, which is the residence of Lord Lithby, his second wife, his young sons – and his older daughter, who was the offspring of his deceased first wife. Lady Charlotte Hayward is a beauty and an heiress, but she has a blot on her copybook, and has become very adept at Not Getting Married, as the blot on her copybook is bound to come to light if she does.

Darius figures out that Charlotte has had a fall from grace; and so does another local man; although Charlotte’s father remains blissfully unaware, and is planning a huge house party to try and attract a suitor for Charlotte. Neither Darius nor his rival care about Charlotte’s non-virgin state; and Darius, a confirmed rake, wants to marry Charlotte for love. His rival has more of an eye to her money!

Darius still has to do some pretty serious wooing to convince Charlotte that marriage is indeed possible. This wooing is carried on against a backdrop of the reopening of the house at Beechwood, where Charlotte’s stepmother (and indeed Charlotte herself) are busy putting to rights a house which has been shut up for over a decade. All sorts of interesting things can happen in odd nooks and crannies in such a house!

Naturally things come out right in the end – and Darius even brings his family around to his choice of bride, guilty secret and all.

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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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Book Review: Gillian Kaye – The Scheming Mr Cleeve

Posted by HelenEdith on August 1, 2009

I do enjoy Gillian Kaye’s Regency romances and this one was no exception.

There was an interesting twist to the “boy meets girl” plot in this book. The Hon. Sarah Winterson meets Mr Julian Cleeve, who has inherited the house that the Wintersons have been renting, and has decided to take up residence there, displacing the Wintersons to the Lodge.

Before long Sarah is engaged to Julian, a state she finds preferable to the alternative of becoming engaged to Sir Bertram Hesslewood, who is pompous and old enough to be her father. This does leave Sir Bertram’s younger brother Philip out in the cold. He is a widower who cannot forget his young wife Clara – but suddenly discovers that he can after all when he finds Sarah is engaged to Julian!

Various other young people feature throughout the book, and Julian manages to give more than one couple a nudge in the right direction – the right direction not necessarily being matrimony, as in the case of Sarah’s brother, who comes home from Oxford with an ageing actress in tow!

The reader is kept guessing right up until the end of the book as to whether Sarah and Julian will actually make it to the altar; and one final twist to the plot resolves this.

As I said at the start of this review, a delightful read.

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Book Review: Deneane Clark – Grace

Posted by HelenEdith on March 14, 2009

This is a Regency romance featuring Grace Ackerly, the second of six sisters, and Trevor Caldwell, the Earl of Huntwick.

Grace has decided that she wishes never to marry, as she can’t see that the institution has much to offer a woman and a great deal which counts against it. She enjoys wearing breeches and riding astride on her father’s land and hopes to continue doing so.

Enter Trevor and his friend Sebastian, Duke of Blackthorne, who have a close encounter with Grace’s youngest sister Mercy, aged thirteen, who also has a tendency to be clad in breeches. Mercy and her horse jump a hedge and land in the path of Sebastian’s coach, causing an accident. Trevor and Sebastian bear Mercy back to her home, where they make the acquaintance of the other sisters: Patience, the eldest, Faith, the third; and the twins Amity and Charity.

Trevor decides then and there that he wants to marry Grace, but Grace has been dodging her other beau, Sir Harry Thomas, and intends to do the same to Trevor, although she does quickly discover that she likes Trevor much better than Harry.

Trevor moves to his nearby country property the better to court Grace, but Grace, anticipating this, decides to take her aunt up on a London Season, and departs with Faith for London. Naturally Trevor follows.

An entertaining and occasionally scandalous courtship follows, but Trevor does eventually win Grace.

This book has something of the feel of a series about it, but appears to be a standalone title. I think that the author could definitely get some mileage out of Mercy – and probably the rest of the sisters, too. It would be intriguing to know how she would handle Patience, who took over the raising of her five younger sisters when aged only twelve. I will keep an eye out in case Deneane Clark decides to further develop any of the characters in this book.

Actually, it turns out that there will be books about more of the sisters. I’ve just been to Deneane Clark’s blog at deneaneclark.wordpress.com and find that she’s working on Faith and that Charity is next in line. Deneane writes in her blog that she hopes that these books will be as good as Grace. I hope so too, as I really enjoyed Grace!

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Book review: Joan Smith – An Infamous Proposal

Posted by HelenEdith on July 12, 2007

This is the second Regency Romance by Joan Smith that I have borrowed from the library in recent months.

Emma, young and widowed and just at the end of her mourning period proposes to her neighbour Lord Hansard. She thinks that he’ll make her a biddable husband, and will bring to an end her father’s efforts to impose an unwanted aunt on her as a chaperone.

Lord Hansard isn’t as overcome by the proposal as Emma had hoped, and in fact rejects it out of hand.

Emma then embarks on some husband hunting sponsored by Lord Hansard, who feels somewhat responsible for Emma. However, each candidate of Emma’s hand turns up lacking on some way or other.

As anticipated in this type of book, we get our happy ending.

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