RogerBW's Blog

Miss Goodhue Lives For a Night, Kate Noble 27 December 2018

2016 American Regency romance novella, side story in a linked series. In her youth, Cecilia Goodhue ran off with a wild young man in the direction of Gretna Green; but they were caught, and she learned he was a fortune-hunter; to escape some of the scandal, she lived by the grace of her married sister and became a teacher in a village school. Now, ten years later, her own younger sister has run off with a soldier, and in an attempt to find her she'll meet that man again.

Once more, Noble manages to take a standard romance-story situation and go through the clich├ęs by putting real people into the mix. Yes, of course the fellow wasn't the fortune-hunter she took him for, and indeed he was told that she was after his money; but her learning that doesn't throw them instantly into each other's arms, because she realises that he was ready to believe it, and that's still a barrier they'll have to get past if Love is to Conquer All. It's all perhaps a little hasty, given the negative things they've been believing about each other for ten years, but it just about holds together.

There are also comical notes (on learning that Cecilia is going to London and needs an excuse for it, everyone loads their own errands onto her); and we get a glimpse of the married life of the couple from The Game and the Governess.

I've always found Heyer's short romance stories unsatisfying because they don't have room to build character; this one's only a bit longer, but does just about manage to pull off the trick.

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Previous in series: The Lie and the Lady | Series: Winner Takes All | Next in series: The Dare and the Doctor

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