Saturday, September 22, 2007

False Angel - Edith Layton

Since I keep complaining about wanting to read more traditional regencies and not being easy to find them Ioana was kind enough to lend me this old one. She told me it was her favourite of Layton's books and I was immediately interested since I know she doesn't give good grades easily.

Lord Joscelin Kidd, Marquess of Severne, was the handsomest and most charming nobleman in London -- and the most notorious. Not only had he been divorced under shocking circumstances from a young and innocent bride, but since that disastrous event he had shown no scruples -- and met no refusal -- in conquering beauty after beauty.

The lovely Lady Leonora Talwin had heard all the stories about him and understood them only too well, having seen from her womanizing father's example how base and brutish men could be. Never, she vowed, would she fall victim to a rake like the scandalous Severne.

But if Leonora thought she knew all too much about men, she knew far too little about her own foolish heart to daunt this lord who feasted on such feminine frailities...

I'm really happy to say that I enjoyed it very much too. It had an original plot, engaging characters and a villainess the likes of which I never seen before.

Leonora seems to say the wrong thing every time she gets close to the Marquess of Severne. Decided to apologise she approaches him at a ball and soon they discover how much they have in common. There is however someone else interested in Joss, Leonora's cousin who she kindly treats as a sister and to whom she introduces every eligible party will soon find a way into the Marquess' good graces.

Leonora is a heroine with a strong sense of fairness, she feels she must not interfere if Joss and Belle are destined to be together but at the same time she can't stop being confused, and feeling miserable by his attitude. In contrast Belle shows herself with a total lack of scruples in trying to get what she wants. For a long while it seemed the heroine was reduced to suffer in silence but finally the hero, after being made to look the fool for half the book, decides to be honest with himself and choose between one of the two.

I think I was a bit upset when Leonora seemed to be destined to fall victim of her own ethics in not wanting to interfere, manipulative people always have a field day when they find someone who wont resort to lower tactics and that's what makes it so unfair. Fortunately someone else was suspecting the truth but I was happy that Joss reaches the right conclusions all by himself even if a bit late. I think Layton's has done a great job to make us dislike Belle's characters so much and she ends the story still very much irredeemable.

Grade: B+


  1. I'm very happy you enjoyed it, Ana, it is indeed one of my favorite Laytons (although not quite the greatest favorite :))
    And we do agree about most things.
    What I loved about this book was most of all the relation between the 2 main characters. How many times we saw mismatched characters in traditional regencies? Just think of the usual Best Master of Bedrooms/ Successful Businessman/ Great Spy/Clever Gambler hero who meets Innocent/Great Victim/Most Selfless Creature Ever Seen heroine and they fall in love out of nowhere. Where is the sense in that? :) And how can any reader believe it?
    So I enjoyed very much the real chemistry that existed between the two characters. It made a good romance and what we are if not romance readers?! :) Another thing I liked was that they fell in love from the very beginning of the book, which could be usual in other romance books, but not in Layton's. In her books is very usual to get confused about the *who is going to end up with whom?* fact (remember "the duke's wager"?), so this was a nice diversion.
    Another thing? well Torquay, the hero from "the duke's wager", one of my favorite tortured heroes ever, finally got an appearance :) I don't know about you, Ana, but *I* looked for him in other Layton books and was very surprised to find him here :)

    What I did not liked. Well, there was the plot for one thing. Although I liked how it started, the middle and the ending was not quite the same. And the villainess was pretty clichee and one dimensional. Plus Leonora should have been less blind me thinks :)
    other than that, pretty good :) I gave it a B+ too :)

  2. I was surprised to see Torquay here too Ioana and I started wondering if this was part of a series.

    Is the Duke's Wager your favourite Layton? I think mine are TDW and To Wed a Stranger but I haven't read The Cad yet which seems to be another favourite among fans.

  3. *BIG sigh* Another one for my wishlist...:)
    I don't like much those confusing "who is going to end up with whom" but I could never resist to a good tortured hero. I'll move up the Duke's Wager and Lord of Dishonor on my TBR and maybe read it this week.

  4. Oh, my favorites are:
    - the duke's wager (Alex here you have the confusion over who is going to end up with the heroine)
    - lord of dishonor (liked both hero and heroine here, I think the heroine from this book is my favorite in Layton's books)
    - love in disguise (even if I seem to be the only one to believe that, the hero of this book is to die for :))
    - false angel (of course :))

  5. Of those 4 the only one I haven't read is Love in Disguise, from the reading the back blurb I couldn't discover who the hero is supposed to be either. I'll be sure to read it soon ;-)


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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