Friday, January 7, 2011

The Defiant Miss Foster & A Highly Respectable Widow - Melinda McRae

Valentine Debenham has just learned that since his father's death, he himself has been responsible for the welfare of a family of orphaned children, including a young girl on the brink of womanhood. Finding a husband for Kat Foster is a responsibility he doesn't take lightly--but he never considered that the only man perfect enough to be Kat's husband was himself.
The superbly handsome Earl of Knowilton was a rake without equal. No woman, whether wanton or well-born could resist him, just as none could satisfy him for long. But Knowlton had grown bored with easy conquests. He sought a sterner test of his powers of seduction to stir his jaded sense of sport.

Then he met Katherine Mayfield. This widowed beauty with her air of unassailable virtue and flaming red hair provided the spark to set Knowlton's passion ablaze. Thus the struggle was joined between this licentious lord and a perfect lady who had to keep the infamous earl at baby and her own heart in check.


My love for traditional regencies leads me to pick them here and there, sometimes without any references. Such was the case with this 2 in 1 book. I have to say, though that I don't particularly enjoy guardian / ward romances and The Defiant Miss Foster did nothing to change that.

The ward in question, Miss Foster, was childish, impulsive, and rude and I just couldn't see how her guardian could feel attracted to her. Even if she, and her brothers, were mad at being deserted by their guardian (the father of the current one) for so long and feel like they don't want one now there's nothing to justify her action in the beginning and her rudeness from then onwards.

Besides she had a TSTL streak that made her get into trouble often, or almost get into trouble because she was actually a lucky girl. It’s quite unbelievable how a young lady who allowed strangers to be so very familiar with her didn't actually get into big trouble.

Debenham was a bit strict yes but next to how annoyed Kat made me feel that was nothing!

Grade: 2/5


Now this story had a plot more to my taste. Although it is another take on a fairly common theme - rake tries to make a woman his mistress only to fall in love with her and repent his ways. I thought this one was well done, with interesting characters that made it an entertaining read if not an uncommon one.

Unlike the first story here it was the heroine that I liked best. She was sensible, she knew what the hero wanted and how temporary that would be so she told him no no matter how attracted to him she might be. She was also wise enough to understand that if she wanted to raise her child well she would have to swallow her pride and go to the one who could help her. The hero was a bit too self assure and conceited in his actions and it felt good to see him fall.

Grade: 3.5/5

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