Tag Archives: Regency romance

#BookReview ‘A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting’ by @SophieHIrwin #romance

Just what I needed after finishing a more weighty and time-consuming read, A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin propelled me along on a wave of flirting and social waltzing. And I gulped it down like a mug of hot chocolate on an icy day.Sophie Irwin

Kitty Talbot is in need of a husband, quickly. After the deaths of first her mother then her father, Kitty, as the eldest of five girls, is left with the financial and caring responsibilities of her younger sisters and a huge debt. With 12 weeks to pay the money owed or vacate their childhood home Netley Cottage, Kitty decides a husband with the right amount of wealth must be sought. The twenty-year old problem solver, always pragmatic, heads to London with bookish sister Cecily in tow, to stay with an old friend of their mother. Aunt Dorothy is not their aunt and, Kitty fears, her history may not withstand close examination. But Kitty’s plan is to gain admittance to the London season – specifically the circle of ‘the ton’, the wealthiest and most aristocratic of London’s social scene – and find a man richer than is available to her in Dorsetshire. He must wipe out the Talbot debt and ensure the financial security of the five sisters. Aunt Dorothy is the only person Kitty knows, despite never having met the lady, who might help them.
A combination of scheming Becky Sharp and witty Elizabeth Bennet, Kitty occupies the fine line between being a fortune-seeker, a flirt and a liar. She is sharp-witted, charming, eager to learn and brave. The latter quality comes in useful as she must enter ballrooms full of people she knows she recently offended due in part to her lack of knowledge of social conventions and in part to the delicate sensitivities and prejudices of the offended. The social mores of ‘the ton’ are unpredictable, difficult to predict and often silly. So she holds her head high and seeks help from the most unlikely places. Lord Radcliffe, the elder brother of one of Kitty’s first flirtations, becomes an unwilling mentor. In a deal to ensure Kitty will not engage with his younger, naïve brother Archie, Radcliffe agrees to give Kitty guidance on London’s social minefield. Neither is wholly satisfied with their deal. Kitty, because Radcliffe is often unable to give her the most helpful information [how deep or shallow a curtsey should be to people of differing ranks, for example] and Radcliffe because he fears he will never be rid of her.
Funny and entertaining, complete with unpredictable siblings who get into trouble, embarrassing beaux, flirtations and elopements, gambling and pistols, I enjoyed this immensely. The plot moves on swiftly and, though the language and detail sometimes slips from period accuracy, I decided to ignore that and go with the fun.

If you like this, try:-
The Convenient Marriage’ by Georgette Heyer
The 20s Girl, The Ghost, and All That Jazz’ by June Kearns
The Girl at the Window’ by Rowan Coleman

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A LADY’S GUIDE TO FORTUNE-HUNTING by @SophieHIrwin #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5Sq via @SandraDanby

My Porridge & Cream read… @VMeadowsAuthor #books #romance

Today I’m delighted to welcome romance novelist Viki Meadows. Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long.

“As I write this it’s our second spring in lockdown. Never has my keeper-shelf been so needed and such a good friend as during this last year. Of all my favourite books which have found a home on that shelf, the one I go back to the most is the historical romance What I Did For A Duke by Julie Anne Long.

Viki Meadows

‘What I Did For a Duke’ by Julie Anne Long

“When I first picked this book up, in March 2011, I did so dubiously, thinking it was going to be a revenge seduction story. In fact, it isn’t that at all. It’s much more. It’s twisty, taking the reader down unexpected paths. But it’s more than the cleverness of plot and dialogue that kept me revisiting this during these interminable months of lockdown.

“Since life has become overshadowed by a pandemic-sized cloud of anxiety and fear I have taken it off the shelf to read at least three times. It’s hilarious in places and I found myself laughing out loud as the dry, sharp humour lifted my mood. Yet it did so without ever losing the essential characteristics of an exquisitely poignant, heart-warming romance. No matter how many times I read it the humour doesn’t get old and the emotional kick never fades. Like a bowl of porridge, it’s one of my favourites, a go-to staple that I can reach for whenever I need to feel comforted and reassured that delightful happy-ever-afters are possible.

“This story, with its vulnerable, lovable, honest characters is comfort food for the mind and heart- warm, funny, rich, and engaging. But it’s more than that. It might be a decadent bowl of porridge with lashings of cream, but it has pieces of fresh, tart strawberry sprinkled through it to keep you on your toes.“

Viki’s Bio
Viki has always loved writing and won her first prize for a short story when still at primary school. She’s an avid reader of romance and can usually be found with her nose in a book. The dynamics and sheer variety of human relationships fascinate her, and this is what she likes to explore in her writing. She lives in North Yorkshire with her husband and cat where she enjoys crafting and Tai Chi.

Viki’s links

Viki’s latest book
Viki MeadowsWhen Minnie tells Villiers that she wants to break off their engagement, Villiers must face some unpleasant truths about himself and come to terms with past mistakes. His future happiness hinges on him not only winning Minnie’s forgiveness but also her heart. Will he succeed in making this the happiest of Christmases for them both? This is a short, sweet, historical romance.

Pic 4 P&C logo
What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects ‘Love in A Cold Climate’ by Nancy Mitford. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message.

Discover the ‘Porridge & Cream’ books of these authors:-
Maggie Cobbett’s choice is ‘The Beloved Vagabond’ by William J Locke
Kathryn Haydon chooses ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran
The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer is chosen by Clare Rhoden

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does romance novelist @VMeadowsAuthor re-read WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE by @JulieAnneLong? #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5aN via @SandraDanby

#Bookreview ‘The Convenient Marriage’ by Georgette Heyer #Regency #Romance

Georgette HeyerThis is my first Georgette Heyer novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Convenient Marriage is a standalone Regency romance although Heyer wrote many historical romances and detective fiction; some as one-off novels others as series. I didn’t know what to expect from The Convenient Marriage but right from the off I loved Horry Winwood. She is cheeky and clever, charming and brave.

The story starts with the three Winwood sisters. The eldest Elizabeth has agreed to receive the attentions of Lord Rule, knowing he intends to propose. But Lizzie wants to marry her impoverished soldier beau Lieutenant Edward Heron. The Winwood family is destitute due to the gambling habit of their brother Pelham and Lizzie knows the marriage will save the family. Her sister Charlotte will not consider marrying Rule and Horatia, or Horry, is too young being only seventeen. Until Horry, so named after her godfather Horace Walpole, uses her initiative and visits Rule. She proposes that she marry him so Lizzie is free to marry Edward. And so the convenient marriage takes place.

The real story is what happens next. Horry is a bit of a minx, getting into trouble, playing cards and generally doing things a wife shouldn’t do. And despite always expecting the disapproval of Rule, she cannot seem to stop getting into trouble. Motivated by gossip about Rule’s mistress, Horry takes more risks but her gallant brother Pel is on hand to help.

If you like fizzing, humorous romances tossed together with convincing Regency details, you will love this; the dresses, the hair styles, the wigs, the manners, the food. Regency London seems full of chaotic parties with dancing, music, cards and flirting. An exuberant escapist book, ideal for transporting you to another time far away from your everyday life.

If you like this, try these:-
‘Christmas Pudding’ by Nancy Mitford
‘An Appetite for Violets’ by Martine Bailey
The Wicked Cometh’ by Laura Carlin

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE CONVENIENT MARRIAGE by Georgette Heyer #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-3zU via @SandraDanby