Hello, and welcome back! So, it's almost official: no real January thaw here for us. Just very cold, very wintry weather. Good thing there's plenty of soup ingredients and a healthy stock of teas and hot chocolates in the cupboard. Plus my slowly-dwindling stock of reading material. I'm hoping for a break in the weather next week so I can make a bookstore run--I haven't made it there in a few weeks now, and I know there are books in stock now that I have on my to-buy list.
In the meantime, I still have a fair number of review books at hand, including this week's treat for Regency fans. First up is the anthology
A Valentine Waltz (Zebra). In "My Dearest Daisy," poor Daisy Kendall can't get involved with Joshua Tremont, no matter how much she might wish to: their worlds are far too different, and she knows a man like Joshua will never marry a woman like her, even if Society permitted such a union. Daisy is likable and her friend Georgette is equally so, and Joshua is determined and resourceful. Angela Valentine wants no part of helping Lucien Montclair win a wager, but her heart has other ideas, perhaps thanks to "Cupid's Challenge." Lucien is unhappy about the wager, but he can't deny being attracted to Angela. But can she forgive him? Finally, in "My Wicked Valentine," Count Antonio Zarcone broke Caroline Benningham's heart, and now she prefers to keep her heart protected. Except Antonio has followed her home from India, determined to have her. Caroline, however, will have nothing less than everything, which Antonio is not prepared to offer. But he is not prepared to give her up to another man either. What a dilemma. For Regency fans, these novellas will delight and entertain. I'm borrowing three of Cupid's five arrows for this one.
Next is Jeanne Savery's
Acceptable Arrangement (Zebra), with Miss Phillida Morgan and Lucas Strathedene, both employing their trusted servants to find them suitable spouses. Alas, Phillida doeson't consider Lucas a suitable husband candidate, no matter how handsome and amusing. A pretend engagement, however will suit them both to forestall interfering family members. But can it become the real thing? Lucas's mother is a wretch, and Phillida nearly a saint in putting up with all her trials. This one's earned three arrows.
In Cynthia Pratt's
Miss Lindel's Love (Zebra), Maris Lindel has had her heart bruised by Kenton Danesby, but he realizes much later that he was a little too hasty before. Too late. Even when propriety demands that they marry, she refuses him, despite the wishes of her heart. It's Kenton's heart she wants, and Kenton's heart she shall have. Eventually. A winding tale, this one. I'm giving it two and a half arrows.
Finally, I have Meredith Bond's
Miss Seton's Sonata (Zebra). Teresa Seton isn't one of the most confident of young ladies and has no expectations of a successful Season. She'll be happy just to play her pianoforte. But even that small pleasure brings troubles, for Richard Angles, Marquis of Merrick so enjoys her playing that he comes daily to hear it, and compromises her in the process, forcing a wedding. But Richard still grieves for his late wife, so a new wife is the last thing he wants. Or so he thinks. Sweet. This one earns three arrows, as well.