Monday, June 4, 2012

What I Read This Weekend

What I Read This Weekend . . .

Fair Game: A Regency Comedy of Manners by Daisy Vivian 

When Lady Augusta Maybn's brother dies leaving his two daughters virtually penniless, Lady Augusta decides to take their future into her own hands by opening a gaming spa. Her eldest niece, Lavinia, is a Countess in her own right though she prefers traipsing through the countryside with her dogs. Lavinia's younger sister is a ravishing beauty who will certainly make a splash in London if only Lady Augusta can get enough money for the girls' comeout. Her plan takes her to the fashionable town Cheyne Spa where she becomes reacquainted with her old friend, the Duke of Towans. He agrees to help Lady Augusta launch the girls, little realizing what her plan is. He's also quite busy playing the go-between with the Prince Regent and his illegal wife Maria Fitzherbert. Soon Lady Augusta is in the middle of the feud as well and it may spell the ruin of her dreams. There are several pairings in this novel but no real romance. Not much happens and much of the story is taken up with the plot of the Prince and Mrs. Fitzherbert. There are long passages of dialogue between the characters and these real-life people which really do not have much point and do not advance the plot at all. The major characters flit around on the edges of the story and do not exhibit any depth or character growth. It's impossible to care for any of them because the reader does not really get to know the character. The plot comes to an abrupt halt leaving room for the sequel. Return to Cheyne Spa should have been the basis for this novel along with the central romance and that would have been enough. This is Daisy Vivian's worst novel.

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