Christmas Awards 2011

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Two New Regency Stories from Hale

Sarah Stanley/Star-Crossed Summer/ Robert Hale Hardback £18.99
ISBN 978-0-7090-8395-5 /224 pages

Beth Tremoille was cast out of her home by her spiteful stepmother after her father died, seemingly the mistress of all her late husband’s property. However there is another will naming Beth the true heiress. Sir Guy Valmer, whose father was cheated out of the estate by Beth’s father, is determined to have both her and the estate he believes rightfully his. Beth becomes the mistress of a blacksmith in order to stay alive. She steals and cheats until she attracts the attention of a titled gentleman who asks her to be his wife – but will Sir Guy catch up with her?

This book might cause lovers of the traditional Regency to lift their brows. Think Moll Flanders rather than Heyer and you are on the right lines, though this heroine doesn’t quite have the audacious wit of Moll Flanders. A lot of cheating, lying and whoring goes on in this entertaining book, which ends as if there is a sequel planned. Different! I found it fun to read. 4.5 red roses. Morna

Jeannie Machin/A Christmas Courtship/Robert Hale. Hardback £18.99. ISBN 978-0-7090-8656-7/ 223 pages

Blanche Amberley thinks she is in love and persuades her ailing father to allow her marriage, even though he must do her suitor’s scheming father a favour before he will allow it. Blanche thoroughly despises the man who now owns her father’s estate and wishes he had stayed away from the area, but when Blanche’s brother is in trouble the man she thought she loved shows his true colours and turns out to be an even bigger rogue than we all thought. As Christmas approaches, Blanche discovers the true meaning of love as Sir Edmund takes charge.

A typical Regency filled with threats, blackmail and a dashing hero to ride to the rescue. This is the stuff that lovers of the genre expect from their fix of romantic nonsense. Fun to read and very enjoyable. 4.5 red roses Morna

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