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.