The Mesalliance/ Fenella-Jane Miller/Robert Hale/ ISBN 978-0-7090-8224-8/ £1899/ hb/224 pages.
This sparkling Regency is a must for all lovers of the genre. Lady Allegra Humphrey, a lady of high birth and rather too much pride, is suffering from lack of sleep after the horrific suicide of her beloved father. However, fate has not done with her yet and after nine months of mourning she and her twin brother Richard discover that they have been living on the charity of Mr Silas Tremayne. A wealthy cit of all things and as such beneath the notice of Lady Allegra and her brother the earl! However, Silas has an enchanting daughter who steals away Richard's heart and Allegra is drawn into a situation she at first finds intolerable. Can she overcome her pride and recognise the prompting of a heart she had hitherto believed cold?
With a satisfactory number of period references to inexpressibles and half boots, and of course the high perch phaeton, this book has a nice Regency flavour and bowls along at a spanking pace. An underlying threat of menace from someone who does not wish to see her happily resolved gives the romance a further twist. This book held me from page one and I recommend it as a cracking read. I award five red roses, Anne