Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lord Clayborne's Fancy - Laura Matthews

Rebecca was the woman he had waited for: beautiful — with a fresh, open countenance; innocent, but intelligent, agreeable, but independent. And so they were married.

Suddenly he decided that her beauty was only skin-deep, her innocence was illusion, and her independence was really wilful disregard of his feelings. And, bewildered Rebecca must use all her beauty, intelligence and independence to overcome what she could not understand!

Another traditional regency and another emotional story. It seems to me those older books deal with darker issues than the more recent European historicals, not every book does of course but it seems I've been finding tortured and interesting people more in those old books than in the new ones.

This one presents a husband who believes his wife is not a virgin on her wedding night and thus insults her and behaves badly towards wanting her to confess to something that is not true. The wife is naturally very upset with how she is treated after her wedding night but since regency misses go to their weddings totally ignorant it takes her a while to see what the problem is.

He is very insulting towards her and I think she showed more serenity in dealing with him than what the situation granted. Has they proceed to get to know each other better Clayborne keeps wishing she would confess her bad behaviour so he could forgive her and Rebecca keeps wishing he would believe her. It is obvious that despite their ill feelings towards each other they are still attracted to one another. But Clayborne's attitude eventually leads Rebecca to want to go away and I thought Matthews presented this part of the story in a very believable way.

My major problem with how she wraps up the story is that I would have preferred that Clayborne would finally believe Rebecca because he gets to know her a better and believes she wouldn't cheat on him instead of being because there's an alternative explanation... Rebecca does forgive him a bit too easily in the end.

Grade: B

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