Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jo Beverley "Devilish"

Expectations. I used to overuse the life maxim, "All things in moderation." Now I've moved on to constantly saying "It's all about expectations." I'm such a relativist. And I don't think that's really an admirable thing, I'm a John Winthrop, not a Rogers Williams in Sarah Vowell's world. But I get ahead of myself.

Lord Rothgar is the head of the Malloren family, he's the only son of his father's first wife, who went mad and strangled her infant daughter when he was about three. His father remarried and had several more fun children whom Rothgar has enjoyed protecting and rescuing from various scrapes over the years. (See earlier Malloren novels please.) But now they are all married and producing their own children, something he has sworn not to do, so as not to pass on the insanity of his mother.

Diana is the Countess of Arrandale in Yorkshire. She decides never to marry because she will not just hand over her powerful position to some man because it's expected of her. But King George isn't so happy about a liberated woman running around the north country unchecked.

Beverly has a feel for this time period that is refreshing and entertaining in it's own right. Her plot is well paced and complicatedly realistic (but not too complicated if you know what I mean.) It's a terrifically crafted book. I just didn't love it. I felt for their romantic difficulties, I liked Rothgar and thought his character was drawn well enough to understand the deep seated fear he had of having children. I suppose I didn't love Diana, I used to love the pistol wielding stereotype busting heroine; but to petition to take her seat in the House of Lords in 1763? That's just dumb.

This one I can't knock on craft, it just didn't transport me, and I had rather high expectations. I imagine if I had read some of the back stories, maybe it would have been different. I will definitely try another Beverly in the near future.

Historical Romance 2000: 4 of 5 hermaphodidic ambassadors.


Kaetrin said...

I loved this book. Rothgar is in my top 5 heroes of all time. He is gorgeous!! I did read book 4 of the Malloren series first and then this one. Book 4 (Secrets of the Night) introduced Diana and perhaps this is why I found her more sympathetic and likeable? Certainly her interaction with Lord Rothgar began in this book But, for me it was all about the hero.

I absolutely love a good rescue and this book had one of the best I reckon. It just made me melt.

All hail the Marquess of Rothgar!!

Heloise said...

Kaetrin: I had heard similar sentiments on other blogs so I was particularly disappointed when I wasn't madly in love with him. My loss.

Kate said...

I love your Winthrop/Williams/Vowell reference.

Heloise said...

Oh I'm glad you noticed. That one was for you.:)

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