Oh, how I miss Fawcett books, and here is one of the reasons why. The Houseparty by Anne Stuart, published in 1985, has been one of my favorites ever since reading it when it first came out. But, we all know how my memory is, so I was a tad bit nervous when I opened this book. One of my concerns was my big mouth and that I had been telling people what a great book this was. Well, I'm happy to report that it has withstood the test of time! This book is one of the reasons I love the romance genre and if you can get your hands on it, you should take the time to read it.
This story has all of the elements that normally I'm groaning about, but in Ms. Stuart's capable hands they turn into a very delightful story. It has a spy hero, Michael, and a spirited aka feisty heroine, Lizzie. Lizzie was constantly getting in trouble, snooping, going where she was warned not to go, and Michael was always turning up unexpectedly. But it was all great fun. There is also a great scene of Lizzie hiding and people going in and out of bedrooms... very funny.
The story takes place in the span of three days and is filled with tons of memorable characters; any one of them could be the bad guy. This book is a fast, charming read. You may not get any belly laughs out of this, but I believe this story will make you smile. Even though we don't really get to see the hero's POV, he's still a very sexy guy. And that is what makes great writing - a writer who can create this very interesting man without us seeing inside his head.
I'm glad to say that I am still very fond of this book. And by the way... Anne Stuart is a very talented writer. She writes gothics, thrillers, historicals, contemporaries... with a lot of dark male characters. If you haven't read any of her books, you should really give one a try. If you can get your hands on The Demon Count (1980) and Lord Satan's Bride (1981), both from the old Dell Candlelight Intrigue books, you'll will be in for a treat. Some other recommendations: Black Ice, The Devil's Waltz, To Love a Dark Lord, Ice Storm, Ice Blue, A Rose of Midnight, Nightfall, Lord of Danger. And again, a little word of warning - Anne Stuart is known for her very strong, dark, brooding men. She did get her start writing gothic novels, after all.
According to her website, she is working on a historical trilogy about the decadent Rohan family. The first book is scheduled to come out the latter part of 2010.
P.S. - My daughter also recommends the contemporary romance Special Gifts, starring a psychic and a cop.
Time/Place Regency England
Sensuality: Very Warm