01 June 2010

Reading Romance: Beauty and the Scarred Hero, by Emily May

Despite the name, Beauty is a great read for those who love traditional Regencies in the style of Georgette Heyer. It features Harriet, a hapless young girl running away from an arranged marriage--a character frequently seen in Heyer's romps. Harriet has the good fortune to meet up with Isabella, the heroine.

Isabella is a bit older than the usual twenty-something misses found in romance novels and she has decided to remain a spinster. That is, until she meets Major
Reynolds, the battle-scarred and supposedly frightening betrothed of poor Harriet.

No need for highwaymen, smugglers, or evil cousins to move the plot of this Regency along. Instead, May focuses wholly on the principals, and it's a delight. Wonderful dialogue, lots of romantic tension, and sympathetic, likable characters make this a just-about-perfect Regency.

If you liked In For a Penny, by Rose Lerner, which I've also recommended, then I suggest you try Emily May. She also writes romantic fantasy as Emily Gee. If that's to your taste, check out her wonderful The Laurentine Spy. [Unfortunately, May's earlier Regency is hard to find and her Mills & Boon two-in-one doesn't seem to be available in the US.]

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