Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What I Read in January 2015 Part X

What I Read in January 2015 Part X . . .

Ballrooms and Blackmail by Regina Scott -- Young Adult/Traditional Regency Romance

Ballrooms and Blackmail (The Lady Emily Capers #3)
Priscilla Tate enjoyed her stunning debut with her friends Lady Emily Southwall and Daphne and Ariadne Courdebas. She's even received 6 offers of marriage - all of which she had to turn down. She would have been happy to marry any one of them. She didn't love them but hoped her feelings would grow with time. However, none of them met with her parents' approval. With family connections to trade and no money, Priscilla has to make a brilliant match. She has her sights set on the young Duke of Rottenford. When she finds a threatening note in her pocket, promising to reveal her secret if she pursues the duke, Priscilla is terrified. If her family's dark secret is learned, she's afraid she'll end up in the poorhouse or as an indentured servant in America. She's determined not to let her family fall and turns to Emily for help. What she doesn't know is that the Duke, formerly a younger son, is a ninnyhammer and is bear led by his cousin Nathan Kent, who acts as rhe Duke's personal secretary. Nathan knows Priscilla is a fortune hunter and is determined to keep his cousin from marrying the wrong person. The Family will not like it. Nathan is determined to investigate Priscilla and find something that will keep her from marrying his cousin.

This is a cute young adult/new adult/traditional/sweet Regency. I've read the other books in the series but it actually helps if you have not read Art and Artifice because then you don't know Priscilla's big secret. If you haven't read the second book or La Petite Four you can still read this as a stand alone. (It's also related to several other stories by connection of The Barnsley School). The situation in the previous book is explained so reader beware of spoilers! The plot is entirely predictable but I enjoyed it anyway. I couldn't put it down because I had to know HOW the characters would solve the mystery and end up with their happily ever after. The writing is good and reads like one of Regina Scott's old traditional Regencies.

Each one of the girls has a distinct personality and readers will find one or more to relate to. I did not like Priscilla at all in Art and Artifice and don't remember her from La Petite Four, but she has grown up a lot in the last few weeks since the events of Art and Artifice. She's a fortune hunter out of necessity and feels intense pressure from her family. She knows how to flirt and simper and catch a man, but she knows what she's doing is wrong and would prefer to follow her heart to true love wherever that may be. She's a sympathetic character but still a bit difficult to really love. Lady Emily is the Regency equivalent of a goth girl and Daphne is the tomboy. Ariadne is the one I relate to the most and this book contains a preview of her story coming Spring 2015. There's one more female in the story: the Duke's cousin Glynnis, the designiated poor relation. She's a complex character. She appears to be shy and quiet but has hidden depths. I actually figured her out right away. The male characters don't quite fare as well as the female. The Duke is neither attractive nor intelligent but he seems like a nice young man. He knows his duty to his family but also knows what he likes and dislikes and is willing to follow his own heart. Nathan is complicated. He's shrewed and at first I really didn't like him. He grew on me though as I learned more about him and got to see the story through his eyes.

I recommend this book to fans of the genre, especially young fans just starting to read Regency romances and those who struggle with period language.

The Fellingham Minx by Lynn Messina -- Regency romance short story

The Fellingham Minx: A Regency Novella (Love Takes Root Book 3) Evelyn Fellingham can flutter her eyelashes and get what she wants. She has had numerous proposals and turned them all down. She plans to marry soon though for she is already 19. She has her sights set on Lord Halsey but she becomes tongue-tied when around him. When she is run over by a velocopide in Hyde Park while out with Halsey, he discovers another side to Miss Fellingham. Could it be she finds him unappealing? No woman has ever not wanted to be noticed by him and Evelyn's behavior puzzles him. Halsey is determined to find out if Miss Fellingham is worth his time even if it means doing something crazy.

This is a companion novella to a series. It spoils the plot of the previous book which I had not read but want to now! The writing is lively in tone and plot elements are Georgette Heyer-esque. The only major problem with the plot is that there's too much backstory told and not enough showing of current events. This is caused by the liimitations of a short story. Otherwise I enjoyed the author's writing style. Evelyn is a fun character and I think she is someone I'd like to know though we are very different. Halsey is either a jerk or a great hero depending on how you feel about heroes randomly kissing heroines they barely know. He comes across as a nice gentleman though and a good guy. I'd like to know more about him.

This is a sweet Regency but there is a nasty villain and kissing with tongues.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave comments and or suggestions for QNPoohBear, the modern bluestocking.