Friday, June 14, 2013

Regency Romance Reviews

cleaning house and moving some reviews to a new post

The Primrose Path by Barbara Metzger -- Regency Romance
Corin Knowlton, Viscount Knowle is furious when he discovers that his aunt has died and left her cottage and money to a bunch of dogs! He believes the cottage is on his property and therefore, should belong to him since his aunt left no heirs. His aunt's will says otherwise. Corin tries to overrule the will, unsuccessfully, and then tries to threaten, bribe and then kiss (twice!) his aunt's companion, Miss Angelina Armstead into leaving the cottage. Though the second kiss was not altogether unpleasant, Lena mistrusts Corin. Lena is not about to leave the only loving home she has known since early childhood and is determined to stay with her beloved dogs until they join Aunt Sophie in Heaven or find loving homes. Lena also intends to oversee the plans for a new home for unwanted dogs that was Aunt Sophie's dream. Corin then tries to tackle the dogs, one by one, trying to find homes for them but discovers, to his display and the utter consternation of his valet, that the dogs were unwanted because they all have certain personality quirks or health issues that made them undesirable to their previous owners. Corin's political career is on the line if he can't move Angelina and the dogs because a certain French anti-Bonapartist writer and spy has escaped France and heading to England where Corin is expected to put the spy up in Primrose Cottage! To complicate things further, Angelina has placed an advertisement in the paper to locate her long-lost sister and has females coming and going from the cottage just when Corin is expecting the very proper Lord Wyte and his most eligible daughter Melissa, whom Corin hopes to marry. Corin both resents and enjoys the interruptions to his previously well-ordered life. He's torn between his ambitions and duty and his growing admiration of Lena. Many more crazy escapades happen before the happy conclusion. Initially I disliked the principal characters, but my feelings changed after I got to know them and understood their situations. The secondary characters are delightful and the plot is funny and sweet. The romance really takes a back seat to the dogs but I didn't mind; I'm crazy about dogs and dog rescue so that part of the plot really appealed to me. I giggled out loud on almost every page over the wonderful descriptions of the dogs and Corin's attempts to get rid of them. I wanted to adopt each and every one of the dogs myself. This book is a must-read for dog lovers and Regency romance fanatics! I loved it!

The Duke's Disappearance by Margaret Summerville -- Regency Romance
Lady Julia Granby has been living in the country mourning the death of her husband for over a year when a friend convinces her to participate in the Season. Bored to death by fortune hunters, Julia decides to hide away in the country for awhile where no one can find her. After finding his fiancee in another man's arms, the proud Duke of Wayland ran off without waiting for an explanation, realizing that the lady only loved his title and fortune. With his pride wounded, George can no longer bear to be in London. Like Lady Granby, he heads to the country to live anonymously for awhile. Unbeknowst to their employers, Julia's maid and George's valet are in love and privy to both master and mistresses' secrets, so the maid Molly schemes for her mistress and herself to move to the very same country as the Duke of Wayland. Lady Granby assumes the position of a genteel lady fallen on hard times and settles into life in a country cottage on the Duke of Wayland's estate. Longing to return to his happy childhood home, the Duke tries to take up residence in his cottage, only to discover Julia already there. He is angry and tries to remove the lady, but since he is in disguise, he can not legally evict the lady. The Duke takes up residence in a sparse cottage owned by the much-hated Squire Henshaw and takes up the life of a struggling writer. The more Julia and George see of each other, the more they enjoy one another's company. The servants, Molly and Ben build their own romantic relationship and help push their employers closer together. The wicked Squire threatens the women and a local villager and nearly destroys the budding romance. Much of the plot is devoted to Molly and Ben's relationship and consequently Julia and George's story is not very well-developed. The plot moves very slowly and not much happens. The characters are two-dimensional, not very interesting. I couldn't feel anything for either of the principles and I disliked the Duke's quick temper. Characters in this novel continually behave outside the boundaries of acceptable behavior of the time. Much of the behavior and some of the language is not historically accurate. The best part of this book are the wonderful descriptions of fashion. I wouldn't recommend this book to any except those who are determined to read every Regency published. 


Impudent Lady by Joan Smith - Regency Traditional
The book jacket reviews refer to Joan Smith as the Canadian Georgette Heyer (who was hailed as a 20th century Jane Austen), but she doesn't come close to the master for matching interesting plots and c
haracters. I felt Prudence was too wishy washy and the hero was too much of a rake and an idiot for me to like. Some of the talk of the ton was too "warm" for my tastes.

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