The title: Regency Quartet
The author(s): Janet Grace, Elizabeth Lowther, Gwyneth Moore and Gail Mallin
Publication: Harlequin, 1993
Got it from: JL for this year's birthday. She undoubtedly got it in Fredericton, but at one point, according to the stamp in the front, it spent time at Annie's Book Stop in the Shop 'N Save Plaza in Portland, Maine. Who knows the journey this has been on??
J got me two books for this birthday, "one classy, one decrepit, just the way you like it." I'll let you guess which one this was. (Hint: the decrepit one has a purple lace parasol on the cover).
As this book features four stories by different authors, very loosely tied together by the fact that the heroines all apparently attended the same boarding school, I'll review each one individually:
Frozen Hearts: It's a classic case of she marries for money, he finds out and is hurt, but they secretly really love each other. I don't remember too much about this one, as I read most of it in the food court of the Galleria in Buffalo, but I do remember a contrived plot with a rival brother-and-sister duo, sneaking around an abandoned monastery at night in the snow and an attempted seduction in a cellar. You know, typical Regency romance stuff. B+
A Singular Elopement: This one kind of creeped me out because the heroine was so, so much younger than the hero and in fact, she kept thinking of him as a decrepit old man. I'm not a big fan of the wide-eyed, heedless innocent but I did like the hero in this one so I'm letting it go with a B.
Pride House: I liked this one the best because it was very Heyeresque. It's about a girl who arranges a marriage with a wounded soldier only to find that restoring her dream home is more like a nightmare. Excellent duel at the end between hubby and a jealous former suitor which ends with the heroine shooting her husband's cousin in the foot. A-
The Eccentric Miss Delaney: This one has one of my all-time top romance pet peeves, mainly a Duke of Slut. I hate, hate, hate it when the hero thinks about all the women he's had or worse, prostitutes. Any man who has so little regard for women is not a hero in my book, and it's a real deal-breaker in my eyes. I don't expect any romance hero to be squeaky-clean, but I don't want to hear about any woman in his past any more than I would with a lover in real life. Plus, the hero in this one starts out practically attempting to rape the heroine (!) because he thinks she's "just" a common maid. He only backs off when he realizes she's "quality." Oh sure, some women go on pedestals, the rest are yours for the taking. I'm sure he'll continue to treat all women with such respect once you're married. Right. C.
I just bought a new Christmas Regency Romance at Borders. I know, I know, I need another one like I need a hole in the head, right? I can't wait to read it. Watch this space for a review!