The first is "Scandalous Secrets" by Patricia Oliver. Lady Fanny Wentworth, aka Francesca St. Ives, has spent the past ten years in exile in India with her aunt and uncle after a terrible scandal. On her way home to England with her aunt, she foils an attempted robbery. Colonel Derek Sheldon, the young victim´s father, is less than impressed at first by the bold woman he meets. His attitude changes, however, to one of great interest. (We are talking about a romance!) Fanny´s past nightmare materializes to put a kink in the works, and she must decide whether she can trust Derek with her secrets. He has his own past to overcome as well, and they do so in a very believable way. This one gets three of Cupid´s arrows.
The next is "The Barbarian Earl" by Nadine Miller. What happens when a lady is forced to wed someone not of her choosing? Get ready for the sparks to fly. This is a marriage-of-convenience turned love-match, which I found very entertaining. To save her family, Lady Alexandra Henning is gently coerced into a union with Liam, Earl of Stratham. His late father once wanted her mother and believed this would be the perfect revenge--forcing his illegitimate sone on the daughter of the woman who scorned him. The biggest obstacles in the way of their happiness are Liam´s secret about his father´s plan for revenge, and a small matter of smuggling. I won´t tell how, but these matters are resolved efficiently. This one gets three and a half arrows.
The last is "Scottish Legacy" by Barbara Hazard. With my fondness for Scotland, this setting was my favorite. Lila Douglas discovered love at first sight last year when she met her second cousin Alastair Russell. Thus, she is very happy to be summoned to her great-aunt Cecily´s castle, even in the dead of winter. However, Grant St. Williams is also there, and unexpected feelings grow, along with a murderous mystery. Someone´s decided that Lady Cecily´s possible heirs must be removed. Though I don´t generally like stories told in the first person viewpoint, I really enjoyed this and the mystery kept my guessing. I´m going to give this one three and a half arrows also.
Let me know your thoughts on the plight of Regency romances. Are they a dying breed? Can the genre be saved by the fans? Post a message in the forum or send me an email.
Till next week, happy reading.