Memories Schmemories, Part VII, The Raven Sisters by Dorothy Mack

You know, I'm really enjoying this project!

The Raven Sisters, written in 1977, was Dorothy Mack's debut book. There are a number of things about this book I remember. First of all, the cover - I've always loved the cover. At first glance your eyes are drawn to the pretty blonde sitting on the desk, candlelight reflecting off her skin. In the background shadows is another woman, and it is that woman, Carina, who is the heroine of the book. That is also one of the themes flowing through this book - the mousey younger sister who is overlooked by everyone because they're always looking at the stunning older sister. However, don't get the wrong idea about sibling rivalry because Carina and the older Elizabeth are very close, loving sisters. My ickometer was going off though - you see, Carina is 17 years old! I also couldn't quite get a clasp on whether this was a Regency or Georgian - the cover says Georgian, the writing feels Regency - so that's a mystery.

There are two love stories in this book. The main one between Carina and the hero (with the unlikely name of Gavin), and the secondary story between the stunning, quiet Elizabeth and the stoic Edward (childhood friend.) We see most of the story through Carina's eyes, with an occasional glimpse into Gavin's thoughts.

Another vivid memory I had of this book was the moment Gavin (hate that name) realizes Carina isn't a child and his very jealous reaction - I enjoyed the moment when I first read it in '77 and I enjoyed it this time.

This is a very traditional Regency - no sex - and what Gavin and Edward do when they are not with Carina and Elizabeth is never discussed. I remember wondering if Edward had been celibate for two years, unlike today's books, he never clears that up. You never hear "I've been celibate for two years," or "Of course, I've had other women, I'm only a man after all." You also never hear the promise of faithfulness.

The Raven Sisters has a number of standard plots (or they are standard now) - the highwayman; the E-V-I-L suitor; a kidnapping; girl dressing up as a boy; the magical cutting of the long, heavy hair into a bouncy curly, halo of flaming red. But even with all the standard devices, it was a pretty good read.

I couldn't find too much information on Dorothy Mack aka Alexandra Dors aka Dorothy McKittrick, other than she wrote 23 novels between 1977-2005. If you like traditional Regency that are sweet, then I recommend at least one of Dorothy Mack's early works.

Time/Place: Georgian or Regency
Sensuality Rating: Kisses

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