Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Book Review: A Lady of His Own

I really liked this book! It did remind me a little bit of A Secret Love in the sense that the hero and heroine had known each other from childhood, and the heroine was a woman considered to be a spinster past her prime that needed the hero's help to protect her family name from scandal, but who really cares, right? I liked that book, too.

This book is not a Cynster book, but a Bastian Club book. It's kind of funny how I used to not like Stephanie Laurens very much, but now I really like her writing style. Maybe it's because she's Australian or something, but she doesn't write like other Regency romance authors. Her books remind me somewhat of Mary Balogh's books (a Welsh-Canadian) in the sense that they have a pretty serious tone to them. Julia Quinn, for instance, writes like her characters are modern day in the way they talk. And her tone is just very light and jovial. I used to like that a lot because it was fun, but you know what? Fun makes it more difficult for my emotions to become involved in the story.

So I appreciate that about Stephanie Laurens, that she takes her characters seriously , because it makes them more real to me. In A Lady of His Own, the hero, Charles, is a war veteren who actually spent his thirteen years of service as a spy in French, due mainly to his half-French heritage. Charles was the third son of an earl, so he never really expected to have to the responsibilities that came with the title. However, while he was in the military, both his father and his two older brothers died and thus he became the earl. Which means that he will have to get married and produce an heir in order for the title to continue in his family. But the women in London do not appeal to him as they are too flighty and shallow to be compatible with the man that spying and war has turned him into. When his superior at the Foreign Office asks him to go home to look into a smuggling ring in the area, Charles readily agrees. Once home, he runs into Phoebe, the daughter of his neighbor.

Charles and Phoebe have a long history together as they slept with one another before he left for war, when he was twenty and she was only sixteen. Phoebe has been in love with him for years, but she believed that she was nothing buy a dalliance to him. It is her love of him that has kept her from marrying in the thirteen years since they parted. It doesn't take Charles very long to figure out that Phoebe is mucking around in the smuggling mystery, and she confides in him that she believes her deceased brother was using the smugglers to send information to the French during the war.

The reason I liked this book so much was because Charles and Phoebe were such mature, responsible characters that it was hard not to like them. They were also very self-aware, which is not something that is often seen in romance novels. Phoebe knows that she loves him, and I was quite happy to see that she ACTED like a woman that was in love, i.e., she didn't try to constantly push him away. She always wanted to be with him, and she accepted his help. They were complete partners in their investigation into the mystery, which added greatly to the romance. I would highly recommend this book.

Lindsey's Grace: A-

No comments: