Date: July 2003
it at Amazon UK
Historical Romance [Regency Derbyshire, UK]
Rachel A Hyde
By Ann Barker
Pascoe is an heiress, still unmarried at twenty-six. The trouble
is that at 5' 10," she is taller than most of the men she meets
and the pretty pastel clothes in fashion make her look a fright.
Perhaps it is not surprising that she is taken as Lady Terrington's
companion rather than her friend by the beautiful but obnoxious
Miss Bryce, and this puts an idea into her head. Why not pretend
to be a companion in need of a new situation, and thus get a holiday
in her beloved Derbyshire? With a bet on the side that she won't
last even a week, she surprises her friends by actually going, and
there can indulge in her favorite pastime of walking. But she keeps
bumping into Claudia Bryce's handsome fiancé (when she isn't
fending off Claudia's brother Piers) and is strangely drawn to him,
even though he has been pointed out to her as a heartless gambler
who has frittered away the family fortune. Somehow even the prospect
of a proper holiday in Derbyshire with her friend if she wins the
bet can hardly compare with the exciting Lord Ravendale.
This is classic provincial Regency,
where the characters are all staying in a country house and the
reader is entertained by the ensuing hi-jinks. As such, it is entertaining,
and the descriptions of the Derbyshire sights and the interior of
a mill are a welcome addition, although I would have preferred a
slightly more detailed description of both. There are the inevitable
quarrels that result from people jumping to the wrong conclusion,
and of course the heroine and hero dislike each other initially.
Although it might be nice if somebody could write a romance that
doesn't include either hackneyed plot detail, this is an entertaining
tale with a likeable pair of protagonists who manage to avoid the
worse clichés and have some sprightly fun.