• Former Riskies

    Tying up Loose Ends – Read Along, Plus Winner

    Doh! I forgot to post the winner of the Kyoto Fashion Book.

    Jo’s Daughter

    Email me yourfull mailing address and I will get the book into the mail for you. Though, realistically, not until after RWA.

    Read Along

    Through the magic of Carolyn being in Charge, I give you three Layton books to choose from. All of them have Kindle versions. Vote for your choice in the comments

    To Wed A Stranger
    Is it possible? The breathtaking Lady Annabelle has actually agreed to marry, sight unseen, a gentleman of her father’s choosing — the self-proclaimed “exceptionally average” Miles Croft. The ton is aghast! After scandalously toying with so many hearts, why is the exquisite Annabelle chaining herself to the new Viscount Pelham, a complete — albeit most attractive — stranger? Could it be that her own heart has been irreparably shattered, and she wants nothing more to do with romance?

    Yet there is certainly nothing “average” about their wedding night! There is magic in Mile’s touch, and the smoldering ecstasy it ignites threatens to consume them both. Dare Annabelle dream this is the one passionate and enduring love she ached for in secret, but never dreamed she’d be worthy of? Might this tender, mysterious lover truly be the scarlet lady’s redemption — and could she be Mile’s as well?

    The Devil’s Bargain
    Katherine Corbet abhors injustice — and is happy to assist the disturbingly attractive Sir Alasdair St. Erth quash the brazen schemes of a marriage-minded opportunist. But appearing on the arm of the dark, dashing rogue at London balls as his interest will never be more than a sham — no matter how Katherine’s aching heart yearns for more.

    This naive country miss is ideal! With Katherine’s unsuspecting assistance, Alasdair can at long last take his revenge on an old, hated enemy — though it pains him to use such an innocent in this unscrupulous manner. Worse still is the longing she inspires within him, a passionate need to taste the sweetness of her lips. Alasdair knows his vengeful plan could destroy a fragile, blossoming love. And when he finally releases Katherine from his devil’s bargain, will he truly be able to let her go?

    The Choice
    There was no back blurb, so here’s a review descritpion:
    One of romance’s most gifted authors, Layton (The Cad) here tells the story of the ethereally beautiful Gilly Giles, desired by many but deemed unmarriageable because she has neither fortune nor family (although she is, mysteriously, a nobleman’s ward). When the malevolent rake Dearborne, seeking vengeance because Gilly has spurned him, announces to a crowded ball that he has seen her in a strange man’s arms, Damon Ryder, newly returned from making his fortune in America, preserves Gilly’s fragile reputation. Thinking quickly, Damon claims that he and Gilly are engaged; they must maintain the farce at least through the social season. During this time, Damon falls in love, and Gilly blossoms into full womanhood. Alas, two other men complicate affairs. One is the nobleman whom Gilly thinks she loves, the other a libertine eager to take advantage of her confused emotions. This is a top-notch Regency, told with flair and fraught with sexual tension.

  • Uncategorized

    Risky Read Along – Venetia Chapters 1-7

    Woot!! The read along begins. I am SO looking forward to everyone’s thoughts and remarks.

    I’ll jump right in with some of my initial thoughts, in no particular order, right after I confess that I finished the book a couple of days after I started it. At the moment, I am pretending I have read only to chapter 7.

    Favorite lines

    There were a lot that I loved, including the very first line:

    “A fox got in amongst the hens last night, and ravished our best layer,” remarked Miss Lanyon.

    This happened out here at Jewel central except the fox ate all most ALL our layers. And one of the roosters. Also, no Lord Damerel has shown up so far.

    But really, the use of the word ravished absolutely floored me. What kind of proper young Miss says that? And then, what does that sly comment reveal about her? She used ravished when she could have said ate. The sentence is utterly sexualized, and not just because of the ravishing. The fox inserted itself amidst numerous hens and yet, despite this orgiastic behavior, it took only the best. What a sly fox!

    Heyer chose her words carefully and this sentence proves it. It’s a lovely set up for the framework of the novel. Damerel = the fox. Venetia = the best layer.  [Do you agree? Disagree? Am I full of baloney on this one?]

    From the first sentence we know the speaker is clever, amusing and perhaps bold. We can also guess that she is among friends. A young lady of the Regency clever enough to turn this phrase won’t utter it unless she knows it will be properly received.

    So, I can firmly say that I fell in love with Venetia (the character) from the very first sentence.  I want to be Venetia when I grow up.

    Oh, the build up to Damerel’s appearance! I was getting impatient for him to show up, and honestly, in my copy, he physically appears on page 30 which isn’t all that long to wait. I would have skipped pages to get there only I loved Venetia too much to do that.

    And then he kisses her! What?! I was astonished. I didn’t expect that he’d act PRECISELY as he’d been described. He didn’t behave with a noble bone (ahem!) in his body. And Venetia, she handles him so beautifully — true to her spirit. Poor Damerel, a goner before page 36.

    By the end of chapter 7, the henhouse has been moved to Priory. Oh, my!

    A Few Quibbles and Questions

    I found the language to be a bit dense at time and so full of slang that some phrases I only guessed at by context. Sometimes there were several in a row, all denoting pretty much the same idea so, (whispering) I felt perhaps Heyer might have been showing off her research.

    Another issue that kept coming up for me was the name of Edward’s estate: Netherfold. Am I the only one with a dirty mind? Or who kept thinking of Netherfield in Pride & Predjudice? To my mind, the former name emasculates Edward while the latter name simply makes the P&P estate seem far away. Once again, I think Heyer (and Austen) chose carefully.

    I think there were similarities to P&P. There aren’t many (in terms of plot) but for me, they were quite marked — the language for one. I felt I could be reading Austen, which is never a bad thing. One similarity I saw was the impact of an ineffectual father and then elder brother who lays the real responsibilities on the competent daughter/sibling and who may well end up paying a price for their inattention to her. Though at least she had money as Lizzy Bennett did not.

    I think that’s more than enough to get us started. What did you think? Favorite lines? Agreement or disagreement with anything I’ve mentioned? Things that struck you as you read?


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