Friday, June 14, 2013

Regency Romance Reviews

Regency Romance Reviews

cleaning house and moving some reviews to a new post

The Education of Lady Frances by Evelyn Richardson-- Regency Romance
Lady Frances Cresswell has been in charge of
the estates since their father's death two years earlier and her younger siblings since their mother's death 10 years ago. Frances is smart and strong-willed and easily able to cope with estate matters and the rambunctious twins. She has even devised her own educational system to make learning fun. When her younger friend Kitty Mainwaring is summoned to London for the Season by her uncle, Frances offers to join the nervous Kitty in London for the Season, despite unpleasant memories of her own first Season. When Frances first meets Kitty's uncle, Lord Julian Mainwaring, The Marquess of Camberly, they argue over estate matters and he instantly labels her a bluestocking and a prude. Subsequent meetings between Frances and Julian prove Frances to be intelligent but not overbearing and Julian is surprised to discover that he enjoys the company of Frances and the younger children very much. Julian and Frances provide each other with the intellectually stimulating conversation they both crave and soon Julian finds that the time he spends with Frances is far more agreeable than spending time with his mistress. However, the romance moves slowly and may never evolve into more than friendship so those closest to the pair intervene to give Frances confidence in herself and Julian a little push! Frances is an unusual heroine and one I could strongly identify with. I quite agree with her opinion of the ton and her unorthodox teaching methods would have made school a lot easier. I loved all the little period details which were woven into the plot. I usually don't like children in my Regency novels but Cassie and Freddie are amusing as are their animal companions. However, there were a few things I didn't like about this novel, namely Julian is a bit of a boring hero. We are told a lot of what he does but never get much of the action. The story is told from an omniscient point of view, so we know what everyone is thinking, even the pets, which is a little jarring at times. There are a few grammatical errors in some of the sentences which are a little confusing. Overall, this is a good read, especially if you love novels set during the Season and historical details. Skip this one if all you want is romance.

Miss Cresswell's London Triumph
by Evelyn Richardson-- Regency Romance
Lady Cassandra Cresswell, the former hoydenish little sister of Lady Frances Cresswell, is all grown up spends her days studying Ancient Greeks and playing with her impish nephew Teddy and his assortment of animal companions. Cassie seems happy, though those closest to her believe she lost much of her sparkling personality when her twin brother Freddie and best friend Ned Mainwaring went off to India. In order to help revive Cassie's spirits, a family friend invites her to London to help catalog the Parthenon friezes (known as the Elgin Marbles). Cassie enjoys her work and the scholarly discusses with her co-worker, the Honorable Horace Wilbraham. Secretly, Frances feels that Horace makes Cassie too severe and that Cassie would be better off enjoying the delights of the Season. Freddie and Ned return from success in India causing a sensation and Cassie can hardly believe how grown-up and full of finesse her old pal Ned is, nor how handsome he has become. Cassie, Freddie and Ned's former childhood playmate Arabella Taylor is the belle of the ton and determined to have Ned by her side. Ned happily plays Arabella's game, using his new found skills to flirt and charm the lady, which annoys Cassie. Cassie believes she dislikes the Season and all London Society and what it stands for. She longs for the carefree days of childhood until, like her sister, she receives help from her nearest and dearest to realize her feelings and bring her to the notice of a certain gentleman.
Cassie is an admirable character and I liked her and what she stood for and happy that she was appreciated for her mind before her beauty. Frances is unfortunately too busy to appear in much of the novel and instead the reader is subjected to her rambunctious five-year-old-son who speaks with a lisp. I think the author made some mistakes in titles and inheritance which need to be overlooked in order to follow the plot.This sequel is worth a read to find out what happens next, but otherwise is slow moving and almost identical to The Education of Lady Frances. 

A Handful of Promises by Jeanne Savery -Regency Romance
A Regency Romance revolving around three couples. The primary couple, Secundus Alcester and Lady Helen Rotherford, were separated 15 years ago when the lady's father refused Sec's marriage proposal because the gentleman had little money and no prospects. 15 years later, Sec returns to England a wealthy man, determined to help his orphaned nieces and nephews sort out their lives and marry his lady. I wanted to like Helen for being an older, intelligent female interested in reform, but she doesn't have much personality. I'm not entirely sure why she even loves the hero except that he has always loved her for who she is and not for her fortune. Their love story advances too quickly and is resolved too neatly. I liked the nieces, especially 8 year old Tibby who desires to help her family all she can. I also liked the love interest of the eldest nephew for being an independent, headstrong young woman. Generally I prefer witty, comedy of manners novels that attempt to emulate Jane Austen's style, so this one isn't high on my list of favorites.

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