The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton by Miranda Neville

August 23, 2011

Having a good month!

The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton is the first book by Miranda Neville I've read, and it won't be the last. I also believe I must read the previous ones in the series. May be spoilers, depends on your interpretation.

This book had a number of my pet peeves in it (but what book doesn't) and it had some typo/grammar issues going for it, but what the hey. Sometimes you get distracted and sometimes you don't. Sometimes you rant and sometimes you don't. I guess it all depends on how much you're enjoying the book. And, I did enjoy this book, especially after I got into the flow of the writing.

This book has two distinct flavors. The road trip/kidnap/amnesia part and the after the amnesia part. I preferred the road trip. Ms. Neville has done some interesting writing, because flowing through both of these parts is some pretty witty dialog. I found the brain talk of both the heroine and hero quite funny and not always what one would expect from a couple falling in love.

We have a plucky heroine, but not irritating plucky, at least in the beginning. And, we have dapper dude hero, a leader of society, a coxcomb of sorts who denigrates those below his station. At least when he has his memory. You see, it seems that our dapper hero slighted our plucky heroine when she was coming out. He said she looked like a cauliflower. So, years later when she escaping from her kidnappers, she finds him unconscious and partially naked. Upon awakening she discoverers he doesn't remember who he is. So, she does what any self-respecting heroine does. She lies. She concocts this rather elaborate tale, in which she is his fiancee, he's going to be in the clergy and she tells him his name is Terence Fish. Some readers may have a problem with a heroine misleading an amnesiac (a very serious injury/illness) but I didn't. I found Celia and Terence/Tanquin's amnesiac adventure to be pretty humorous. Oh yes! The kidnappers are chasing Celia and we don't know why. There is a lot going on in this book. There's village people chasing them, a farmer trying to buy Celia, running through the countryside almost naked. And, that's all before Terence/Tanquin regains his memory.

Then he remembers and the tone of the story changes. There is still a lot of humor and I even had a laugh out loud moment. Watch for the explanation of how a baby is born, as told by the inebriated father Sebastian (previous novel). But, in this part of the book, both Tanquin and Celia have to confront some unpleasant truths about themselves. It was also at this point that I became a little irritated with Celia. Yes, I really understood her feeling so very alone and insecure when standing in a room of so called beautiful people/ton. However, I was disappointed that so spunky a heroine didn't have more of a backbone when confronted by these highfaluntin people. I wanted her to fight back more than she did, instead of doing the poor me routine. I also had a problem with the villains in the story; I thought they were a little weak and mostly silly. And even though there was hot sex, I felt that the sexual tension between the two main characters was weak.

But, overall I enjoyed reading this tale. I was impressed by the way the author hid some complex emotions behind humor. I am looking forward to more books by Miranda Neville.

Time/Place: On the road Yorkshire/Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Hot

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