Nice Regency Romance but it Lacks a Little Something Something

This was a cute little regency romance. It had the potential to be much more than what it was however. The hero, Nash, was a third son who

inherited an earldom after the suspicious deaths of his older brothers within a year of each other. Ashby, the estate that he inherits is incredibly run down. More so than I think would be realistic from one year of mismanagement by the second oldest brother and one additional year of being looked after by only a steward, a housekeeper and a child’s nurse. The descriptions were more in line with a house and estate which had been standing empty for 10 or more years.

Nash was wounded at the Battle of Waterloo and his face and shoulder were burned. Here the author was brave enough to say that the man’s face was burned including his cheek, over his eye and up to his forehead and his eye was damaged and is cloudy. Many times a man who is scarred is only scarred a little and then we are told that he is horribly disfigured. I get frustrated when an author tries to tell me that a rich titled man is turned away from in disgust because a bit of the fleshy part of his cheek might be scarred. Have the courage of your convictions. But the author did carry it a bit too far here. No woman had looked at him without disgust in so long that he had begun to despair that none ever would find him attractive again. Is it really that uncommon for a man to go without any nooky for a year? I’m not feeling very sorry for you. He is not written as a libertine particularly. He’s an earl. Surely he knows that women will overlook the face. Particularly women who might be getting a monetary benefit from it. Like say a prostitute or even a bar maid to whom he would be going to toss a coin.

The heroine is a woman who was raised as a vicar’s daughter but finds out she was a foundling when her mother dies. She comes as a governess to Nash’s house to take care of his little niece. Obviously she is going to turn out to be the long lost granddaughter of the duke whom we know is looking for his granddaughters from the preface to the novel. Her actions are not true to those of a strictly brought up girl. She has spent her whole life being quite and demure but has no trouble acting sassy etc. Except that her level of sassyness is not very high even then. She is not a strongly written character.

Problems with the book. There is not a lot of interaction between the hero and the heroine. The conversations are short and not that interesting. Then they seem to spend pages thinking in convoluted circles about each other. I don’t know why they fell in love. I certainly didn’t see enough there. She is a properly brought up young virgin yet she gives in to him sexually with maybe one obligatory thought of maybe she shouldn’t have done that. She gives no thought to her reputation while living with 6 or 7 men with not another female in the house. She gives no thought to her reputation while sleeping with the hero. She gives no real thought to maybe getting pregnant.

He keeps thinking I can’t take advantage of her. But he does so with very little emotion shown. No angst and very little self condemnation that he shouldn’t have done it. I expected him, as a gentleman, to offer marriage the very next day. This is a regency after all. But no, he blythely sleeps with her again and again. I didn’t have much respect for him.

In the end she decides to chase after him and persuade him to marry her. That just gave me a yucky feeling. He done her wrong and she shouldn’t run after him. He should have been begging her to marry him. In fact, he almost leaves it too late to be acceptable.

The ending is very rushed. Expose the bad guy, propose marriage while running down some stairs after she had pleaded with you to love her. Find out about the duke looking for her. Elope. Done.

Whoa I really expected a scene where she meets her grandfather.

I felt like there were several bits of story that started and then just went nowhere. The letter to the old suitor. The seeds and interest in gardening. The painting abilities of the young girl. The let’s get the house ready for a party we’re never going to have. The lets find out who all was at the hunting party where the oldest brother was shot but not actually talk to any of them. The book in general needed more focus, a stronger sense of being in the regency period, more interaction between the hero and the heroine during which interaction their love develops. Less actual love scenes and more falling in love and yearning to be with each other.

The love scenes were nothing special. There was no feelings involved on the part of the hero or the heroine and thus no real feeling on the part of the reader. I don’t read a regency for smut or explicit scenes. I want to experience the couple falling in love. There was great potential for angst but it just flew right by. Denial of the physical expression of love is stronger than just giving in to it. So all in all it was cute but not memorable.

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