Memories Schmemories...Book One, Regency Buck
Georgette Heyer, 1902-1974, is probably one of the main architects of the modern romance genre. Oh sure, there's always Jane Austen, but most modern authors will list Heyer as the one who most influenced their desire to write. She was first published at the age of eighteen and went on to write 51 more novels. She had the pseudonym of Stella Martin and published not only historical, but a few contemporaries and some mysteries. This is my favorite photograph of her, (I've only seen two, so the choice was a little limited.)

Now, on to the book: Regency Buck. Here's the plot, Judith and Peregrine Taverner are the wards of Julian, Lord Worth. Julian loves Judith at first sight, Judith hates Julian at first sight and someone is out to murder Peregrine. And, that's the plot.

To be honest, when I first started to read this book I became a little nervous, because somewhere in the last 30 odd years of reading romance novels, my brain has become lazy. And this book does not allow for a lazy brain. It was like watching Masterpiece Theater or a foreign film without the subtitles. But, once I found Ms. Heyer's rhythm, I became engrossed in the language of the book.

When I say language, I mean the jargon, cant, descriptions of places and historical people that fill this book (and let me tell you almost every famous person from Regency England puts in an appearance.)

Instead of a gown and bonnet with a yellow ribbon, we have a "plain round gown of French cambric, frilled round the neck with scalloped lace; and a close mantle of twill sarcenet. A Poke-bonnet of basket-willow with a striped velvet ribbon rather charmingly framed her face." Instead of snuff, we have a room filled with "lead canisters, labeled with queer-sounding names as Scholten, Curacao, Masulipatam, Bureau, Demi-gros, Bolongaro, Old Paris." We have a place called the Sublime Society of Beefsteaks (loved that one.) There are cravats and quizzing glasses galore...oh, how I miss the quizzing glass. There are two pages of a cock fight, which ends with a brawl and amusing shouts of "Drawn his cork! Fib him, guv'nor! Let him have a bit of home-brewed!" By the way the bird dies (so much for 21st century sensibilities.) And while we are on the subject, nothing in this book is politically correct.

My favorite line comes from the hero while talking to the villain "The scruples of persons of your kidney are, alas, hidden from me." I don't know why, but I loved that line and I want to use it someday. I'm sure it will be impressive, probably stop people in their tracks.

Now, for the romance part of the book. If you blink you'll miss it. First of all, (and here is where some of that lazy brain comes in) Julian has no POV (point of view). And, talk about enigmatic heroes, Julian is enigmatic with a capital E. If not for the occasional lift of the eyebrow or softening of the face, you'd never know he was in love. No twitching, throbbing manroots in this book! Judith, on the other hand, does have an occasional POV and there is a pivotal scene after she has done something incredibly stupid that is very well written.

Would I recommend this book? In my humble opinion, this is probably not one of Ms. Heyer's best. However, I believe everyone should read at least one of her books. And, I'd also suggest not reading them all at once; they're better in small doses. So, I've included a list of twelve of her books, compliments of the All About Romance website. My favorite on this list is Venetia; reminds me of Putney's The Rake.

Ms. Heyer was famous for creating her own slang to fill her books and I'm sure this book was packed with her creations. Of course this means it probably weren't historically correct, but you know what, I didn't really care. This book is not a romance as I know them to be anymore, however it did take me back in time. Now, whether it took me back to Regency England or England of the 1930 might be up for discussion; but, in the end it didn't matter because it was good to visit an old friend again...Here's to you Georgette! And thanks!

Time Period: Regency England (real Regency England)
Rating: Romance:
Sensuality Rating: Kiss

List of recommendations:
Devil's Cub, 1934 sequel to These Old Shades (An Infamous Army and Regency Buck are sequels to Devil's Cub)
The Grand Sophy, 1950
Frederica, 1965
Venetia, 1958
These Old Shades, 1926
Arabella, 1949
The Masqueraders, 1928
Sylvester, Or the Wicked Uncle, 1957
Faro's Daughter, 1941
Cotillion, 1953
The Nonesuch, 1962
The Unknown Ajax, 1959


Memories Schmemories...

I have decided to start a new project. And here is why. Needless to say, I have been a tad bit disappointed in the last few months by the quality of the writing that has been published. So, I thought I'd read one of my old books to do a cleanse my brain. Well, while I was looking at my database, and yes I am a list person, I got this simply brilliant idea. First of all, in my database I have, out of around 3000 books, only 159 which I gave the coveted A! Now, granted, I only started rating them in the year 2000, so the number is a little off. Soooo, of course, I made another list. This list is all of the ones I rated with an A, plus books that I have fond memories of or remember being really good. Now, of course, we are all aware that memories are sometimes not very reliable, but I'm going to give it a go.

Sooo, I'm calling my project Memories Schmemories and at least twice a month, in between new books I will be reading some older books. And some of those books will even be in first person (I wasn't always as picky as I am now.)

I'm starting with the first book I read that started me down the road to Romanceland. This is not one of those books that you were force to read in high school or sneaked home (Peyton Place), but one that caught my eye when I was perusing the library shelves one day in the 1970's. This should be interesting...memory don't let me down.

Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer, first published in 1935.

To Tame a Dangerous Lord by Nicole Jordan
To Tame a Dangerous Lord by Nicole Jordan, fifth book in the Courtship War's series. This is a typical Nicole Jordan book, so if you like Nicole Jordan you'll like this one. You know what I mean...lot's of hot sex (I think there was a twenty page sex scene or so it seemed) and a really arrogant guy and I do mean arrogant. Not only is he arrogant, he is also one of those spy guys, so he is of course suspicious of everything the heroine does. He of course jumps to all of the wrong conclusions and treats the really nice heroine, Madeline, like dirt. How did England keep their colonies as long as they did with these spy guys? He of course was betrayed by an evvel woman early on, so all women are not to be trusted. And while we are on the subject of those millions of spy guys in Romanceland, do all of them just jump to the wrong conclusion? Also, thrown into the patch is a really nasty grandmother, not a cute funny one, but really mean. Although Madeline does stand up to her. I really wanted Madeline to smack Rayne (the hero) in the face, but she never did. What she did do was blame herself for all of their problems.

So, this is an solid read, but it is also a typical Jordan book, so beware.

Time Place: Georgian England
Sensuality Rating: Hot


Promise Me Tonight by Sara Lindsey
Promise Me Tonight by Sara Lindsey, a debut novel, was an interesting book to read. Why, you may ask...well, because when I started reading this book I really loved it. I loved the heroine, Isabella, her family and James, the man she has luved forever. Isabella was a very believable, immature, sheltered woman of the 1700's. And, normally I don't read those annoying epigraphs in romance novels, however I loved the ones in this book. Each one is a letter written by Isabella at some point in her childhood, starting at age five and I found them simply adorable.

However, more than half way through the book, I started to get really ticked off at the idiot hero. He is one of those guys, who can't marry, never, never, ever because he doesn't want his wife to become pregnant, because his mother died in childhood along with his baby sister, so all women will die!! And then he has some stupid dream where he sees Isabella in the grave. To top it off, he keeps leaving Isabella...I think it's about three times, I finally quit counting.

So, anyway, there were parts of this book that were really good and the author hooked me into wanting to read more about the wonderful Weston family. If this author clicks, I predict the Weston family is going to be up there with the Bridgertons, Montgomery and Mallerons. Great family. And by the way, the Weston parents are alive.

On the other hand, James was a total selfish moron for waaay too long. I blame him for the rating.

Time Place: Late Georgian England
Sensuality Rating: Warm


Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale
I have always been a big fan of Laura Kinsale. She is the Queen of Angst. You know, those heroes who had sex with their step-mother when they were twelve and their father beat them, then sent them to an asylum where they went blind and then they turned into a blind assassin and nobody likes them because they kill people, however, they are the designated hero. Now, that is angst! So, when I heard that after a five years absence, Queen Kinsale had written a new, lighthearted book, I, of course immediately put it on my list.

So, I started to read it and for some reason I kept putting it down. I liked the heroine Callista, but really didn’t like Trev. There were some funny gags and slapstick comedy going on. However, it wasn’t until page 289 that I started to like the hero. When he tries to explain why he did a really stupid life endangering act, I finally found him adorable. However, shortly after that his past catches up with him. So, after two weeks, I folded my tent and started another book. Both characters do the “I’m not good enough for you” routine for way too long. I didn’t’ think the couple really clicked.

I am probably the only person in Romanceland who didn’t like this book.

If all of the book had been like page 289, this book would had been astounding, but sad to say it wasn’t and sad to say I found this a disappointing read from a really talented author.

Time Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Warm