Regency Reviews

These Old Shades

[openbook booknumber=”9781402219474″][rating:4.5/5]

A notorious duke with a devilish bent…

Justin Alastair, Duke of Avon, is called “Satanas” by enemy and friend alike. In the aristocratic circles of both London and Louis XV’s Paris he has a reputation as a dangerous and debauched rake.

A cast-off urchin with a secret past…

Late one evening, the Duke stumbles upon Leon, a red-haired urchin fleeing a certain beating at his brutal brother’s hands. On a whim, Avon buys the boy and makes him his page. But it soon becomes clear that Leon is not what he seems…

When the grubby Leon turns out to be the enchanting Leonie, the Duke is nor prepared for the breathtaking transformation or the tender emotions she awakens in him, or the unconditional love she had for the man who saved her.

I admit it, I have a bit of a kink when it comes to girls masquerading as guys and managing to pull it off. Especially during times when, historically, it was believed that women were incapable of even a fraction of what men were capable of. To shed the dress and don some breeches and go about the country side takes moxie and young Leon, er, Leonie has that in spades. Her story is wildly entertaining to read about and yet Georgette Heyer manages to kick it up another notch by adding in court intrigue, a debauched rake, and an ancient score that needs to be settled. Little Leonie finds herself in the middle of a whirlwind of scandal and only with the help of her savior, the Duke, does she have a chance to survive.

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The Rebellion of Jane Clarke

[openbook booknumber=”0061782149″][rating:4/5]

For generations, the Winslow and Clarke families have been feuding over rights to the mill stream, but Jane Clarke has managed to stay removed from the fray. While she doesn’t doubt her father’s claims, she also does not harbor ill will towards the Winslows. Yet Jane cannot remain untouched after someone hacks the ears off Mr. Winslow’s horse. Everyone in Satucket believes Jane’s father is the culprit. Is her father the kind of man who could commit such a horrible act? Suddenly, Jane’s long-held placidity is shattered and her trust shaken. Adding to her distress is Phinnie Paine, the suitor her father wishes her to marry.

When Jane defies her father and refuses Paine’s offer she is sent away to Boston to care for a troublesome aunt. Arriving in the bustling city awash with Redcoats and rebellious fervor, Jane discovers she cannot escape the conflicts defining her life. Father against daughter, Winslow against Clarke, loyalist against rebel-the battles are complicated by her seemingly unbalanced aunt, the unexpectedly kind British soldiers, the townspeople who taunt them, and her beloved brother, a law clerk working for John Adams, who is fervently channeling his own frustrations into acts of sedition.

When Jane witnesses British soldiers kill five colonists on a cold March evening in 1770, she understands she has become engulfed in forces greater than herself, knowledge that forces her to question seeming truths… and face the most difficult choices of her life.

This historical novel takes place on the eve of the American Revolution. Jane is a young woman who lives in a world that is more in flux than she realizes. Families are facing off against families, revolutionaries against loyalists and even father against daughter as Jane questions her father’s beliefs and actions and ultimately decides to not marry the man he has picked out for her.

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Charity Girl

[openbook booknumber=”1402213506″][rating:4/5]

A young and lovely runaway alone on the road to London.
Miss Charity Steane is running away from the drudgery of her aunt’s household to find her grandfather. Not expecting her visit, the old gentleman is not in London but is away in the country.

A scandal broth in the making.
When Viscount Desford encounters a lovely waif searching for her grandfather, he feels honor bound to assist her; but dashing about the countryside together, the Viscount must prevent his exasperating charge from bringing ruin upon herself… and him.

In the end, his best ides is to bring Charity to his lifelong best friend Henrietta, and that’s when the fun and surprises begin…

While this book may start off slow and shaky, by the end Heyer has her footing again and the plot and characters sparkle. In Charity Girl a Viscount named Desford meets a young woman named Charity, “Cherry” for short, hiding away upstairs at a ball. She was foisted off on these relatives by an absent father and is treated more like glorified help then a poor relation in need. Naturally she ends up running away to London in a search for her grandfather. Desford finds her on the road to London and, after hearing her story, decides she would be better off with her grandfather and so gives her a lift. Unfortunately they arrive in London just to discover that her grandfather is out in the country and no one knows where or when he will be back.

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The Masqueraders

[openbook booknumber=”1402219504″][rating:5/5]

Born to a father set on having adventures, Prudence and Robin Tremaine have lived a life on the run. They constantly are moving (often fleeing) from one place to another, and often have to do so in disguise. After Robin and his father take part in the failed Jacobite rebellion they split up and flee into the country side. Robin meets up with his sister, who stayed out of it, and they decide to swap genders to thoroughly hide Robin in the last place anyone will ever look – in a set of petticoats – to prevent him from being hanged. Prudence then becomes Mr Peter Marriot and Robin becomes Miss Kate Marriot.

Together they travel to London and hope to meet up with their father there. That’s when they meet Sir Anthony and Letitia, Letty is currently attempting to elope with a Mr Markham only to find that he is a brute and not worth marrying, her attempt to change his mind on this score proves dangerous though. With the siblings help (a false swoon by “Kate” and a swift uppercut with the hilt of a sword by “Peter”) they rescue Letty and restore her to Sir Anthony, a friend of her father’s. In that meeting “Kate”, er, Robin falls hopelessly in love with Letty and “Peter”, er, Prudence falls hopelessly in love with Sir Anthony. Now, in true Georgette Heyer fashion, the stage is set for a romp unlike any other!

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Arabella

[openbook booknumber=”1402219466″]

[rating:5/5]

Impetuosity is Arabella’s only fault. That and being young and naive. At the same time she has very strong convictions about right and wrong and follows through on them, again to a fault. After Frederica Arabella is my next favorite heroine. She is not a push over, nor is she vapid or overly frivolous. Being young and naive ends up being only endearing, and her convictions are admirable considering the time and place she is in. Her impetuosity though is what got her into trouble in the first place.

Arabella is one of eight children in a large family living in a country parish. Her father, the Vicar, is a strict man who raises his children to love, respect and care for all of their fellow creatures. She is from a respectable family, but her fortune is very, very small. Through a happy circumstance her godmother writes and says that she is willing to bring Arabella under her wing in London and sponsor her for a London Season!

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