Lord Iverbrook's Heir by Carola Dunn.
- Lord Iverbrook's stepfather was delightful. Evidently Carola Dunn had recently been reading P.G. Wodehouse - because step-dad reminded me forcefully of Lord Emsworth (of Blandings Castle) who was a noted pig fancier/breeder. Unfortunately he is a very minor character.
- Selena was a strong female character. She was in charge of the farm, and took her responsibilities seriously. She had to be on hand to make sure everything was done properly - from harvesting the barley to castrating the bulls.
Sorry, that's about all I liked here. Our next list will be a tad longer. Things I didn't like:
- Lord Iverbrook. Yes, we know he is the hero because he is recently back from Jamaica where he freed his slaves - because he's the Good Guy. What's one of the first things he does upon returning to London? Spends the afternoon with his old "light o' love". This indescretion comes back to haunt him again and again - as well it should (I don't have any patience for double standards). The first thing he suggests to Bel (light o' love) after spending the afternoon "getting a great deal more than kisses" is that they take a trip....to Brighton (seriously - I'm not making that up).
- Herbal Medicine. Selena's mum is the local equivalent of Walgreens (drug store). She had a cure for everything and we are treated to an ingredient by ingredient breakdown of every stinkin' one of them.
- Peter (Lord Iverbrook's 5 year old heir) goes missing at least twice. Selena's (heroine) default explanation of both disappearances it that Lord Iverbrook has kidnapped him. Which is not only not true, but there's no reason to suspect him.
- Way too much Regency slang.
I could go on, but I won't. While there is no actual going to Brighton, there are veiled references (what's behind door #1? Brighton!)...I didn't like the double standard (as in, it's not only okay for Lord Iverbrook to have a mistress, it's expected).
Cotillion by Georgette Heyer. My only complaint about this book is that it really didn't need to be over 400 pages long. I also wasn't entirely sure who was supposed to be the hero until over half way through - and when I did, I couldn't make myself believe he was really "leading man" material. The heroine was fairly shallow - so he really didn't have to be super complex to be a good match for her. Going back to P.G.Wodehouse, this could almost be retitled "Bertie Wooster Finally Finds His Perfect Match." You want a bullet point or two? What I liked:
- We get to watch the hero grow into a hero. Nice.
- The bad guy doesn't inherit his uncle's fortune.
- Lots of time (400+ pages) to see the main characters interact.
- Lord Dolphington...I shouldn't have liked him, but I did. He is a very weak in the head person - who has to do whatever his mama tells him - until Kitty finds a way for him to marry the girl of his dreams.
- No trips to Brighton.
- Manageable amount of Regency slang.
Not to like?:
- I first tried to read this very late at night and couldn't follow the character's names (too tired). My bad. In my defense, there are a lot of names and relations to each other to straighten out in the first few pages.
- Did I mention it was 400+ pages? I don't mind reading long books, but this is a pretty fluffy book - 400 pages seems a bit more of an investment of time than I generally want to spend with fluffiness.
Everyone thought she was the poor relation - but Cousin Albert was leaving his money to her, not her cousin - Albertine (*snort* Albertine *snort*).
Ravishing beautiful Albertine Newton had everything except Cousin Albert's huge inheritance. That was left to her mousy country cousin Alethea. And now Alethea was coming to London for her first season. Albertine wasn't worried about any social competition - no one ever outshone her. Now suddenly she found that little Alethea had blossomed into a lovely and spirited young woman. Someone who enchanted the very eligible Damon Skirlaugh, the Duke of Byram's heir. Alethea didn't believe Damon's interest in her was romantic, Albertine was afraid it was - but she was determined to put a stop to it...
I thoroughly enjoyed this foray into Regency period romance. What I liked (yes, bullets again):
- minimal use of Regency slang. Thank you, Mira Stables.
- did you see the word "mousey" on the back cover? How very Betty Neels of her.
- thoroughly unpleasant cousin Albertine. I loved that her plots and plans never worked to her advantage...especially her grand finale - which totally backfires on her and results in Alethea and Damon spending the night together (not at Brighton).
- I loved that Albertine was named after her rich cousin, as a ploy to inherit...which doesn't work out, but then she's stuck with the name "Albertine".
I don't have any bullet points for things I didn't like. I found this a fun read and would love to find "The Swyndon Necklace" that is referred to on the front cover.