A Little Folly by Jude Morgan

April 2, 2013
Wot? A romance novel without spy in it!

Hey, someone pick me up from the floor.  At last fellow romance readers, in A Little Folly by Jude Morgan, we have a story that isn't built around some eye-brow raising, beyond belief plot.  There isn't a woman dressed as a boy trying to escape her evil aunt-mother-father-
brother-guardian by hanging out at the local pub-tavern-brothel.  Nope, no hare-brain scamper through the countryside for our heroine.  There is no group of manly male friends who went to Cambridge, then fought in the war, became spies, got scars, signed secret papers promising never to marry, and have names like Colt, Lance, Saber, Cobra and Roderick aka Humongous Rod.  Nowhere in this book is there a troublesome Mr. Toad who cannot be controlled or who forces our hero to stand behind a potted palm.  If ever there was a book that could claim to be "Austen-like," it would be A Little Folly.  Be warned, this is not a pretend Austen, but a legitimate claimant to the flavor that was Jane.  This is a book that truly has feel of the Regency era, filled with all the wit and undercurrents of that time.  It is a refreshing change from the historical romances that are painted with a broad modern brush.  However, I don't believe I'd want a steady diet of a true Regency - I like a little spice in my books.

Our story is about a brother and sister, Valentine and Louisa, who have grown up under the tyrannical thumb of their father.  And, I do mean tyrannical!  When their father dies suddenly (a rather amusing scene) they are abruptly confronted with freedom.  And it is their reaction to this unforeseen independence and all the missteps it brings which makes this a fascinating read.

One of the scenes that best exemplifies how Valentine and Louisa respond to being their own person is when they decide to get rid of their father's fireplace screen.  Their struggle with this dilemma is both comical and poignant.

This book is a slow-paced, well thought out story.  There isn't a rush to the end anywhere in sight; no loose end scrambling to be tied.  I appreciated the liberal spattering of dry wit throughout the book.  And, do be careful if you are a skip reader, because there are some hidden off the cuff remarks in this book that should be savored.

Now, be warned, this book is not for everyone.  There will be those of you who will find it boring and you know who you are.  If you can, right now, pick up a Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Clare Darcy, Patricia Veryan, Carola Dunn (her Regencies,) Joan Smith and still enjoy them, then you will love this book.  However, if you find yourself saying "I don't get what all the hub-bub is," then this story is not for you.

I recommend A Little Folly for those of you looking for a little step backward into a world that existed a long time ago.  I promise you, there is no long-winded description of clothing or any eye color changing in sight.  This is a lovely, fully developed traditional Regency book.

Jude Morgan is a pseudonym for Tim Wilson, who also writes under the name of Hannah March.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Sweet

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