Well-Written Georgian Romance
As a fan of both Regency and medieval romance, I’ve always thought there was a dearth of earlier Georgian romance. Here is a book that can claim that title, and the author has done a simply fantastic job. She has created a strong woman, a widow with two young sons who inherited her husband’s silver business when he died. She’s not content to let things just roll along until her sons can take over. No, she has big plans to expand her business into reasonably priced silverware that she will sell directly to the public. To do so, she needs to expand her premises. She meets the hero after his man of business sent her a very insulting letter, suggesting trading favors to give her access to the earl. So the meet-cute was quite explosive as she went directly to the earl to complain of the insult. During this extended meeting, though, some of the more subtle sides of both characters were revealed as well. Gerald, the hero, is a newly minted earl who never expected to be one, only stepping into the title after three members of his family died in a tragic carriage accident. Despite their rough beginning, they have an attraction from the start, although that is of course complicated by many factors throughout the course of the story.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the time they spent apart in the last part of the middle section and the beginning of the end of the book. I just loved it when they were together because they did have chemistry and were fascinating to watch interact. There is definitely sexual tension between them, and the author did very well showing how that simmered as well as its ultimate culmination. I liked that the sensual scenes seemed to really fit with the characters; oftentimes in romance novels, intimate scenes feel like the author is just ticking off the boxes of positions and practices. That was not done here; instead, their interaction on an intimate level seem to truly spring from their characters, their histories, and where they were at in their relationship.
The author did an excellent job weaving in some history and story of London at the time. It is clear she has done a lot of research as her knowledge of the City of London at that time is breathtaking in its breadth and depth. I felt like I could see it. Yet she doesn’t overpower you with this knowledge. She is able to incorporate it as it flows with the story. Having read so many books, I know that this is not easily done (or easily done well). I loved the fact that the heroine was loosely based on one of the author’s own relatives. That adds a lot of authenticity to the tale. I found this a very enjoyable read, and I look forward to more in this series. I hope they will give glimpses into the lives of the earl and his countess.