RogerBW's Blog

A Dangerous Kind of Lady, Mia Vincy 18 December 2021

2020 American Regency-ish romance, part of a loosely linked series. Arabella Larke and the Marquess of Hardbury were promised to each other as children, but on coming back from years overseas the first thing he did was refuse to abide by the parental plan. That suits her. But it's not going to work out that way.

And I don't know why it is, but while I've enjoyed the other two, this one really didn't grab me. Some of it may be that there's rather more sex than in most modern romances, even others in this series; I like to think I'm not a prude, but it's not what I read romances for. I think it's more that this really feels more like a short story plot, artificially inflated to novel length by complications and side stories, that's already frustrating because of its core conceit: each of them is very much in lust with the other, but they each think the other is pretending because of a sense of duty, and nobody can actually talk.

Which I suppose could be seen as the problems of many romance novels in miniature, but normally the good stuff carries me over the bad stuff, and I never felt transported by these characters. Here's a villain, here's another villain, here are how their plots work, here's what our heroes will do to get out of it, which results in their becoming engaged to each other though of course they plan to break it off later… This was written after the other two books in this series that I've enjoyed (though it comes between them in internal chronology), but this time the craft doesn't seem to be there, or the skin is too thin and I can see the pistons and levers moving underneath.

I'm all in favour of a polemic against the patriarchy but I don't need a heroine who's a bull in a china shop and a hero who's a sexy bore. A romance needs to convince me that they will still like each other once the shagging like bunnies has got boring.

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Previous in series: A Beastly Kind of Earl | Series: Longhope Abbey | Next in series: A Wicked Kind of Husband

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