Christmas Awards 2011

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Royal Snuff Box





ISBN 978-0-7090-8463-1

This Regency novel is about a beautiful young widow in her early thirties, she resides in Charter Street near Berkley Square, Lady Julia Reynolds, is content to stay a widow, enjoying the freedom which her status gives her, unfortunately she is being hotly pursued by the Prince Regent, who is hoping to make her his latest mistress.

Lady Julia, whenever possible shies away from his Royal Highness’s company and advances. She does not answer his ardent messages and tries to discourage his visits to her home, instructing her servants to say she is not at home. But on one of his visits she has to see him as he knows she is there, on this visit he leaves his snuff box behind which is quite a suggestive box and embarrasses Julia when he shows her it. She doesn’t know that he has left the box behind when he leaves. She has several other visitors that day and the box is not there as far as Julia knows.

Receiving a very ardent letter from the Prince later which implies that he wishes her to keep the snuff box and show it to him it the next time he calls, implying that his ardour is reciprocated. Lady Julia is very alarmed and sets about questioning her staff about the box. It is nowhere to be found and no one remembers seeing it.

Lady Julia receives a visit later from a close friend, Mrs Fanny Lowden, she tells her about the box and whispers to whom it belongs. Fanny is surprised but understands her predicament and after a glass of restorative Sherry, gives her some good advice.

Lord Trevor Whitney, who is the Regent’s friend, is summoned urgently to Carlton House to meet with Colonel Lake, the Prince’s Equerry. Colonel Lake is afraid that the Prince is going to cause yet another scandal over his new passion, Lady Julia, who he is pursuing so determinedly.

Lord Trevor Whitney has no good opinion of the ladies whom the Prince Regent pursues, in his eyes they are no better than they should be. But as he is not familiar with this particular lady, he sets about trying to get to know her.

When he finally is introduced to Lady Julia by his mother he is surprised by her and wonders if he is wrong about her. He asks her to allow him to call and when he meets her he comes straight to the point telling her that she must return the snuff box. Lady Julia finds him very intimidating and quite frightening. She explains that she doesn’t have the box and that she has returned all of the prince’s letters and gifts.

Lord Trevor is not sure whether to believe her or not, although she seems very genuine. He intends to return the next day ,when ,if the box is not returned the consequences could be dire for her. She also interests him and he wants to get to know her better.

Lady Julia is very upset by this interview and she dislikes Lord Whitney straight away and finds him very frightening.

This book is a very good read with a difference, a book you won’t want to put down. It has unexpected twists which are held until the end. I happily award this book 5 Red Roses. AS

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