Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lovers And Ladies - Jo Beverley

Now for the first time in a single volume: two long unavailable yet beloved romance classics from a New York Times bestselling favorite.

In these two delectable novels, someone craves to be married and loses sight of the joys of true love-until their heart is opened unexpectedly...

The Fortune Hunter-A stunning beauty rejects the charming suitor who isn't wealthy enough to save her impoverished family. But she can't so easily dismiss the memory of their sweet shared kiss.

Deirdre and Don Juan-The dashing Earl of Everdon is most eager to marry someone-anyone-who will bear him an heir. But when he meets a quiet, well-bred lady who fits the bill, he must resort to an amorous dance of deception to gain her acceptance to his proposal.

Although I have read a lot of trad regencies lately and I have read quite a few of Beverley's novels in the past this is the first time I read her traditional regencies. They are part of a series and due to publishers rights these two that were reprinted now are the last two in the series. Although I am very curious about the secondary couples, that are presumable main characters in previous books, I found that these could be read as standalone so all is well.

The first story was about a young beauty that is decided to marry for money and save her family from poverty. She attracts the attention of a young man that she thinks is not rich enough for her and departs for London to catch a husband. Predictably the young man was in fact very rich and the old banker who is pursuing her ends up falling in love with another. I thought that first proposal scene where Amy gets mad with Harry was a bit too violent and really all his friends had no reason to try and bring them together as they didn't know her all that well. Since this is a light and funny regency Amy eventually accepts Harry's love and all ends well.

Grade: 3.5

The second story was more interesting I thought. The Earl of Everdon, known as Don Juan, decides to marry. And nothing better than settling on his mother's mouse of a friend. He is sure she will be grateful for the attention and after the marriage will leave him alone to pursue his interests. Unfortunately Deirdre was just trying to go through her season without a proposal so she could go back home and finally marry the man she wants and that her parents don't want. She was so sure she would get away with it she made a deal with her parents, if she doesn't get a proposal she can marry her heart's desire but if she does she has to accept it. You can see how she feels Don Juan just ruined her life. Of course since she is not interested Everdon's interest is picked and he decides to seduce her and convince her that the man she thinks she loves really just wants a housekeeper. It was funny to follow his attempts at seduction and Deirdre trying to resist him. In the end he does realize that he has fallen in love with her but he still has to convince her of that.

Grade: 4

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