By Hayley Hunkin
If you love reading romance novels set in the Regency era, a style made most famous by Georgette Heyer, you will love Jennifer Kloester’s guide to the era – “Georgette Heyer’s Regency World”. This is not a novel, but unlike many reference books is extremely easy to read and you can get lost in the wonder of the pages as easily as you can get caught up in Georgette Heyer’s lovable characters.
Jennifer Kloester has a PhD in Georgette Heyer’s work and has picked up her style of writing, so anyone who loves reading Georgette Heyer’s regency romance novels will find the guide is in a familiar style.
One of the best features is the references to particular characters from Georgette Heyer’s novels. Instead of simply explaining what men or women wore in London in those days, Jennifer Kloester refers to what particular characters wore in different novels.
Georgette Heyer’s Regency World explores every aspect of the era and style of romance that people now know as “regency”, from what people wore, to what they drove, from the places mentioned in the books, to the slang or cant language used.
The first chapter explains that although the regency was literally only nine years, the regency romances refer to a genre that spans the period of English history between 1780 and 1830, as the man who would become King George IV – the Prince Regent largely shaped the mores and norms of high society in those years.
The following chapters of Georgette Heyer’s Regency World explore the homelife, in town and country, the fashions, the fashionable places to visit in town and in the country, and what people ate. The first appendix, which is a glossary of cant terms with explanations, is extraordinarily fun to read.
You can get lost in the beauty of the regency world as you learn more about the expected patterns of behaviour. This is just a wonderful addition to your library of Georgette Heyer or regency romances, because it makes every detail clear. It is nice to know, for instance, that when the male characters complained of having to wear “chapeau-bras” at Almacks, that they had to carry a soft hat.
In the version published by Arrow books, the delightful pen and ink illustrations by Graeme Tavendell will bring the words to life. These drawings make sense of the characters, fashions, and trends described in Georgette Heyer’s novels.
If you are a fan of Georgette Heyer’s regency romances, you will definitely want to have Jennifer Kloester’s Georgette Heyer’s Regency World on your bookshelf. It is a brilliant companion piece that helps to bring the wonder of the regency era to life.
By Hayley Hunkin
Title: Text Order Bride
Author: Kirsten Osbourne
Published at: Smashwords
Length: 8,977 words
Summary: Amanda, a teacher from Texas, has agreed to marry Jason, a farmer from Wisconsin. The catch? Amanda has never met Jason in real life. Though the pair have exchanged text messages, talked on the phone and sent e-mails, they never have laid eyes on one another until the minute Amanda begins to walk down the aisle.
Amanda believes she is marrying for convenience. She doesn’t care about love, but wants to have a family before it’s too late.
Pros: It’s cute. The characters are kind of sweet. The sex scene is spicy.
Cons: I don’t exactly know where to begin. Nothing about the premise of this book is at all realistic in my mind. I just can’t see any intelligent woman making the decision to marry sight unseen as Amanda did, I can’t imagine any woman agreeing to move across the country to a state she’s never visited to live with a man she’s never met. Amanda is written to be a smart woman, but her decisions and behavior are anything but. Instead, she just seems to be beyond desperate.
On top of the ridiculous premise, the writing is kind of jarring. The book moves along with very little detail and description — until the sex scene, that is, when suddenly the author finds her writing chops and describes Every. Little. Detail. The sex scene actually is pretty well written and appears to be the only portion of the book that could make it in a main-stream media book. The rest of the story is wooden.
This was another free book on Amazon, and it doesn’t take very long at all to read. Even so, I can’t force myself to recommend it. It’s just too unrealistic and the heroine is just too stupid and unbelievable. Better skip this one.
But, in the event it does sound intriguing to you, it can be found on Smashwords and on Amazon: Text Order Bride.
Last week’s Indie Tuesday review: The Writer by Kim Dallmeier
Title: A Wedding Wager by Jane Feather
Release date: June 21, 2011
A Wedding Wager will be released Tuesday, June 21. I’m looking forward to this one. Here’s the description from Amazon:
New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather again delights with her new book in this entrancing Georgian trilogy featuring three noble brothers who are offered a preposterous opportunity to restore their family’s mortgaged lands. An eccentric uncle promises a lavish inheritance, but only if each marries—thus redeeming—a fallen woman. And if even one brother fails to fulfill the old man’s decree, none will gain the windfall.
Lady Serena Grantley was born to the nobility, but fortune's whim placed her in control of her gamester stepfather, who uses her beauty to lure young men to his gambling tables. Serena even dismissed her first love, the Honorable Sebastian Sullivan, at her stepfather's command. But when he attempts to force her into a liaison with a dissolute earl, Serena resolves to do his bidding no more. Sebastian is the only man who ever captured her heart, and it is to him she turns. . . .
Torn between family loyalty and the woman he loves, Sebastian faces a devilish dilemma. His uncle is ailing, and time is running short. Desperate to find a solution, Sebastian conceives a dangerous plan—a wager that could bring him and Serena happiness at last . . . or separate them forever.
Title: A Wedding Wager | By: Jane Feather | Publisher: Pocket, 2011 | ISBN: 978-1439145258 | Find it on Amazon: A Wedding Wager
Title: The Writer
Author: Kim Dallmeier
Published at: Smashwords
Length: 19315 words
Summary: Ben is a tight control freak. Joy is a go-with-the-flow hippie. Ben has to have everything planned out; He has a goal for his future and always follows the rules. Joy does what she wants, when she wants to do it; She doesn’t care a wit for society and modern convention, and when she sees a chance to make a difference, she takes it without thought.
But when Ben crosses paths with Joy, he falls in love with her instantly. He’s completely mesmerized on first sight, so when she passes along her phone number, Ben is over the moon. The couple begin to date, but the differences between the two of them threaten to push them apart as they bound the couple tighter together. You see, the thing about Joy that drive Ben nuts are also the things that make him love her.
When Joy takes off to make a difference elsewhere, though, things get even more difficult for the couple, until one day, Joy disappears completely...
Pros: The Writer has a unique storyline. For me, it was fun to watch Ben and Joy grow together, and at one point, I thought this might turn into a coming-of-age type story. It didn’t, of course, but it has that feel to it at certain parts. I liked the themes of the book — Joy spent a lot of time working to improve the world; I also liked the way she tried for the entire book to help Ben understand what being a writer and artist is all about.
Cons: The grammatical errors can be a bit distracting, unless random capitalized words and comma vomit don’t bother you. At certain points, the storyline doesn’t make a lot of sense, and significant chunks of time seem to pass with no warning or explanation. The prose are only serviceable and the wooden dialogue carries too much of the story.
In truth, The Writer really just reads like something a young college student might write for a creative writing class. It doesn’t have the benefit or support of a publisher, and it appears that the book does not even have a copyeditor. While the premise and storyline certainly are unique and interesting, I think a lot of people would have trouble staying interested in this book, simply because of the manner in which it is written. Too much telling, not enough showing.
This book was available for free on iBooks and Smashwords. It also is available in paperback on Amazon for a fee: The Writer
Thrown together in Smalltown, S.C., Sarah and Travis each are beginning new lives — Sarah as a single mother, and Travis as the owner of a radio station. When Sarah serves Travis in a restaurant, he can't help but be attracted to her.
After getting to know Sarah a bit more, Travis decides to offer her a job at his radio station. What follows? Awkward situations, repressed feelings and sweet interactions.
Sarah is broken and just trying to find her way in life without her emotionally abusive ex-husband, and Travis has never known much outside of baseball. The two seem to grow together as they experience their new lives together, but Sarah is determined to resist the charms of a womanizer-turned-Southern-gentleman.
Read more about Sweet Tea at Sunrise.
Title: Sweet Tea at Sunrise | By: Sherryl Woods | Series: Sweet Magnolias | Publisher: Mira, 2010 | ISBN: 978-0778328452 | Find it on Amazon: Sweet Tea at Sunrise