Sunday, April 13, 2014

What I've Read This Week Part II

What I've Read This Week Part II . . .

Lady PamelaLady Pamela by Clare Darcy -- Regency Romance

Lady Pamela Frayne has been managing her Grandpapa's household on her own for two years now, so when Grandpapa gets in a state about a despatch missing from his Foreign Office box, Lady Pamela decides to take matters into her own hands. Grandpapa, Lord Nevans, fears Lady Pamela's brother, Viscount Wynstanley (Wyn) stole the document and gave it to his disreputable friend Cedric Mansell. Pamela is certain her brother had nothing to do with it but a shadow of a doubt remains so there's nothing to do but go after Wyn and follow him to Whiston Castle. In February. In a snow storm. Lady Pamela is unable to obtain a vehicle to take to Whiston Castle, but upon spying a public coach she absolutely insists on riding in it along the Bath Road to Marlborough despite the coachman's assurance that they will likely overturn. Such a thing comes to pass and so Lady Pamela is stuck at a country inn with an infuriating man known as Carlin. He appears to be a gentleman come down in the world and reduced to working as a coachman. He dares say no to Lady Pamela's schemes! Alas for Carlin, Lady Pamela finds a way to Whiston Castle after all and when next she sees the man, he's calling himself Lord Devan and is accepted as a guest at Whiston Castle! Danger and intrigue are afoot as Lady Pamela plans her next move. With the help of Carlin/Lord Devan and her brother Wyn, she manages to escape back to London. Grandpapa is unwell so Lady Pamela feels she can not consult him on her next move. Much to her dismay, Carlin/Lord Devan arrives in London to infuriate her and help her steal back the despatch, much to the dismay of her long suffering fiance Lord Babcoke, a most proper gentleman who dislikes making a fuss more than he dislikes Pamela's not so seemly behavior!

This story could almost be another Georgette Heyer novel. The plot is more mystery than romance, and very predictable, but it had enough going to make me want to keep reading to find how just how things got to the inevitable conclusion. The writing style is similar to Georgette Heyer and there is a lot of period slang in the novel. The language isn't too difficult to figure out from the context and it's used more sparingly than in Georgette Heyer's books. The plot pacing is very good until the end when it could have used a little more time to develop the romance.

Lady Pamela is crazy. She's somewhat young, being one-and-twenty, but she thinks being the head of household gives her wisdom beyond her years. Not so. She's headstrong and impulsive which leads her into some wild escapades and crazy scrapes. She doesn't take no for an answer and no one even bothers to tell her no, except a certain person. Despite her faults, I found her enchanting. She's a delightful character who provides a lot of laughs. The only thing I found really unbelievable about her is her naivety when it came to a certain person's identity. It was perfectly obvious to me but she's more innocent than she realizes and took what she saw at face value. Lord Babcoke is an unsuitable suitor for Pamela. He was pretty much tricked into offering for her because she decided to fall in love with him when she was 15. It's clear he doesn't approve of her behavior but neither does he try to correct it. He's so weak-willed, he's unable to stand up to any woman who dominates him. I didn't like that about him but he exhibits character growth which I did like. That leads to one of the funniest parts of the book. He is in danger of becoming another Lord Whiston whose wife is so domineering, he doesn't have any independence. Carlin/Lord Devan is a Corinthian/alpha hero. We don't know much about him personally except that he likes to get into scrapes as much as Lady Pamela does. Unlike Pamela, he knows how to proceed carefully and when to stop and how to get help if the situation is serious. He actually stops to think. His dialogue is witty and amusing. If we knew more about him, I think I could love him. 

Wyn is a typical young man about town. He is afraid of his tyrannical grandfather and his sister but he does know how to stand up for himself on occasion and he cares about his sister a lot. The villains are fairly stereotypical villains but one has some character traits that make him more unique. The Whiston family round out the major characters. They're a pretty colorful family but each one is a superficial character type rather than a fully fleshed out character.

I really enjoyed this story in spite of having read it once before. I didn't really remember anything about it so I'm giving it 4 stars because it obviously isn't all that memorable.

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