Thursday, December 26, 2013

What I've Read This Week

What I've Read This Week . . .

Miss Delacourt Has Her Day (Miss Delacourt 2) by Heidi Ashworth - Regency Romance

Having returned to London, Sir Anthony and Miss Delacourt are eagerly planning a small, intimate wedding in the rose garden at Ginny's Grandaunt Regina's home in the country. Ginny is trying her hardest to become a proper lady while Anthony misses his shrew. Then Sir Anthony receives a letter from his uncle, a Duke, stating Anthony's cousin has died and Anthony is now the heir. Dismayed, Anthony rushes to his uncle's bedside where his uncle proceeds to harangue Anthony about his choice of bride. A "mere" vicar's daughter won't do for a future Duke claims the Duke of Marcross. He has in mind someone more like Anthony's former flame, the beautiful, widowed Lady Derby who is now very very willing to accept Anthony (now Lord Crenshaw) despite her earlier rebuff. When the Duke comes up with three impossible tasks for Anthony to do in order to earn the right to marry Ginny, Anthony fears his love is doomed. Ginny fears Anthony's family hates her and they will persuade Anthony not to marry her. Her Grandaunt Regina is almost powerless to do anything. Lucinda and Lord Avery show up to complicate matters. This is a very cute and funny sequel. I loved Sir Anthony in this book for the most part. I loved that he was willing to fight for the woman he loves and willing to stand up for her but I hated that he wouldn't talk to her and tell her what was going on. I really liked how Ginny refused to crumble despite meddling relatives. I hated that she cried a lot and tried to turn into a proper Duchess in the beginning. Like Anthony, I missed shrewish Ginny. Lord Avery and Lucinda add a lot of comic relief to the story. Poor Lord Avery! Lucinda is even MORE annoying than ever before. I giggled a lot whenever they were on the scene. The new characters are stock villains. They complicated the plot but didn't have any depth. There are some historical inaccuracies such as people didn't send engagement notices to the paper. Mostly this book could probably take place any time before World War II. There are a few stand-out things that mark this as a story set in the Regency era. Overall, I thought the book was enjoyable and I liked it more than Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind.

Mistletoe and Folly by Marian Devon -- Traditional Regency Romance

Jemima Forbes is forced to attend her estranged aunt's Christmas house party against her wishes. Her aunt finally took notice of her impoverished relatives and invited Jemima's beautiful older sister Clarissa to visit for the holidays in order to meet a suitable young man. Unfortunately for Clarissa, she has succumbed to the measles just in time for the holidays. Jemima wants nothing to do with her snobbish aunt or stupid cousin Marcus. She doesn't have any interest in marriage either. Jemima promises to hold her tongue and be polite. Sadly, Jemima's patience is tried by a public coach ride, her maid's illness, an accident, a long walk to her uncle's estate and a rude, wealthy carriage driver who splattered Jemima with mud. Her feathers are smoothed a bit by the kind Mr. Baldwin, a neighbor of her uncle's just out of prison. Mr. Baldwin is persona non grata at Lawford Park so Jemima is left to her own devices. The only one of the party Jemima can possibly bring herself to like is her uncle's crippled sister Jane. When Jemima discovers the rudesby who caused the coach accident and splashed her is the guest of honor, Lord Montague! Jemima can hold her temper no longer and vents her anger on Lord Montague, much to the dismay of her toad eating cousin Marcus. When her head clears a bit, Jemima realizes Lord Montague is hiding something. Could it have something to do with the escape of a political prisoner her uncle's secretary is forever going on about? Soon Jemima's quick mind thrusts her into the middle of a secret scandal and another mystery she can only guess at. She's never had so much fun in her life! Though this book bears a lot of similarities to Miss Osborne Misbehaves, this story is very different. The plot is fairly predictable but fast paced and very funny at times. At first I thought the plot was going to take a different direction but I enjoyed the way it went. It was different and lighter than a traditional Regency romance while still being a mystery type story. The romance is very clean. There are a few kisses, mainly under the mistletoe, but no real sensuality. There's a secondary romance that's very sweet too. It was a bit different and I would have liked another story involving those characters because I found them intriguing. I liked Jemima but she wasn't very proper for a Regency lady. She says and does whatever comes into her head and I think some of her behavior would have caused her to be compromised, much to her aunt's dismay. The dialogue is very witty and amusing. It sounds rather modern at times though. None of the book is from Lord Montague's point-of-view, we don't even know his first name, but one can guess at what he is thinking and feeling. I can only imagine what his internal dialogue must be. His conversations with Jemima tend to be rather amusing on the part of the observer and exasperating on his part. The rest of the characters are all culled from the typical Regency canon: the stuffy, snobbish aunt and party guests and the foppish cousin. Not too interesting there. The villain, if you can call that person a villain, is interesting and a different type of character. It's not someone you would peg as a villain. There's no back story there but I assume this person has their own best interests at heart. This story is a lot better than Miss Osborne Misbehaves. It's similar to other light Regency books like the Miss Delacourt books and other older Regency writers. There's not a lot of substance to the story but it's a nice, light read.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Both of these books look interesting.



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