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My Shelf: 4 Regencies + a Book Giveaway

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4 Regency Romances from my bookshelf

Instead of posting this last Monday like I intended summertime fun took precedent sorry! But I didn’t want to wait until Monday since this is my first giveaway EVER and I wanted to keep it open for a few more days. Do you love reading Jane Austen? Perhaps picture yourself living two hundred years ago during the short, exciting, and world changing time known as the Regency Era?

Here are four regency set books and my reviews. I’ve read all at least once.  Kissing Cousins, Letters to a Lady, Lady Savage , and Nicola and the Viscount.

Scroll to the bottom of the post to enter the GIVEAWAY!


Kissing Cousins by Joan Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a rush to find her wanted brother who may or may not have be marrying another’s chere amie Samantha turns to her well-connected, image conscious cousin for help. With the “reformed” wild Lord Salty’s help she jaunts across the country looking for the elusive pair to discover that propriety and reputation doesn’t mean everything.

This wasn’t my favorite Joan Smith Regency but it was full of her signature zaniest. The beginning felt like a Regency lexicon dump but I love words like lightskirt, hedgebird, devil-may-care and the like. It took me a bit to warm up to the story but plucky secondary characters and the morning room scene at the end made it a fun read at the end.

 

Letters to a Lady by Joan Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Again Joan Smith pairs a country miss with no die-away airs with a stiff, socially conscious lord. That is when he isn’t writing drivel to his blackmailing mistress! Diana is willing to recover the stolen letters if only to persuade Lord Harrup to find her brother a suitable post.

Fiances, Runners, and poor relations all pile into the chase.

I did enjoy it but reading back to back with Kissing Cousins really made the strong similarities apparent. Still it is a quick, clean Regency to wile away a hot beach day.

 

Lady Savage by Donna Simpson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a unique story set during the Regency time period! If you’re looking for an amusing look at high society or even middle class and how the London Season or microcommunities in the gentry countryside are the epicenter of the characters’ lives then this is NOT what you are looking for. It is however a surprisingly deep story where the romantic love story isn’t the only relationship that grows and develops. In fact, I think the bond of sisterhood between Savina and her maid nearly eclipses her love life.

Right from the opening paragraph you get the sense that while this is a romance it is also trying to share a message. The issue of a cheap work force (in this case slavery on British plantations in Jamaica) is one that continues to be fought over. Savina carries off having such a differing view from other English ladies with ease, a task I find difficult for an author to do when the roles of women were MUCH more restricted than.

While there were moments,(view spoiler)[ like her proposal to Tony that could have resolved their concerns or the rushed introduction of her father’s bride-to-be (hide spoiler)], I really enjoyed this read. I admit I began to root for Venture and wonder about her own story. In my imagination she finds her own happy ending. I didn’t give it five stars for a few reasons and one is I wish I could have understood Tony more. On the whole it was an enjoyable, singular Regency read.

 

Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot

My rating: 4 of 5 stars  (3.5 stars)

I snagged this teen regency at the Used Bookstore on sale. I didn’t even read the back because it’s cover proclaimed it’s Regency England setting. Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries took a jaunt into the past for a light, entertaining glimpse into Regency England. Not without its moments of suspended belief it was a quick, easy read.

What I liked

(view spoiler)  How she’d redress people either in her imagination or tell them to her face. I could probably use a fashionista friend.

Quibbles and questions

1. A few of the historical facts jarred me out the book because they didn’t seem accurate. One of the things that I’ve loved about Historicals from my tween years on is the actual history that I could learn. Granted I know that it wasn’t always accurate but it got me thinking and researching topics I might not have heard of otherwise.

So in the case of Catch Me Who Can that is used as a major plot device I wonder why she choose to set the story in 1810 instead of 1808? If you don’t mind a regency read with fictionalized facts (it is fiction after all) then it shouldn’t bother you.

2. Going along with the different dates for the steam circus and other train related advances is the question of boarding schools during the Regency Era. I always thought boarding schools for girls came about later but off to research that now. Don’t know why but the story had more of a late regency or even Edwardian feel to it. I enjoyed it nonetheless.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.


GIVEAWAY

I’m very excited to start my first giveaway! Sorry it’s not a ride in the Tardis to slip into the stifling Carlton House but you can have two of my Regency Books: Lady Savage & Nicola and the Viscount.  I choose these two because even though they are used they’re in much better shape than the Joan Smith books.  If you would like all four (keep in mind one Smith book is water stained and these are readers copies only) than mention that in your entry.

Easy Rules: Leave a comment on this post about who you’d love to be in the past. Emperor Nero, Jane Austen, Duke Wellington, Doctor Who… err you get the idea.  The only entry REQUIRED is to leave a comment!

Giveaway ends 8/20/12. Mainly because I’ll be on vacation! Yay! But not in London. 🙁

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