Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Book Review: Lovers and Ladies by Jo Beverly

Lovers and Ladies
Author: Jo Beverley
Publication: Berkley; Reprint edition (April 1, 2008)

Description: In these two delectable novels, someone craves to be married and loses sight of the joys of true love—until their heart is opened unexpectedly...

The Fortune Hunter: A stunning beauty rejects the charming suitor who isn't wealthy enough to save her impoverished family. But she can't so easily dismiss the memory of their sweet shared kiss.

Deirdre and Don Juan: The dashing Earl of Everdon is most eager to marry someone-anyone-who will bear him an heir. But when he meets a quiet, well-bred lady who fits the bill, he must resort to an amorous dance of deception to gain her acceptance to his proposal.

My Thoughts: The collected edition of two of Jo Beverley's early Regency romances was a nice reminder of how much fun Regency romances can be.

THE FORTUNE HUNTER (1991) tells about the romance between Amy de Lacy and Harry Crisp. Amy's family has fallen on hard times and she feels that it is up to her to better her family's situation. Amy is blessed, or cursed, with exceptional beauty. She finds it embarrassing to be stared at but decides to use her looks to marry a fortune. She gets caught in a storm on her way to the local nabob's house and finds herself taking shelter at the hunting lodge rented by Harry Crisp and two of his friends.

Harry is a wealthy young man who has recently begun to look for a wife because his father has been ill. He isn't, however, the flashy kind of wealthy which leads Amy to reject any kind of relationship with him. Her heart isn't so sure of her decision but she has decided to disregard it in favor of her head. We end up with a stubborn young woman who is determined to follow her plan despite the fact that her family wants her happiness and not her sacrifice. Harry and Amy have a lot of trials to go through before they reach their happy ending.

DEIRDRE AND DON JUAN (1993) plays with a different trope. Mark Renfew, Earl of Everdon, has a well-earned reputation as a Don Juan. The fact the he was abandoned by his wife who fled to Europe with a lover has kept him safe from marriage-minded mamas. But now he receives word that his wife has passed away and he wants to find a second wife on his own before he becomes the target of debutantes hunting for a husband and a fortune.

He decides to focus his attention on Lady Deirdre Stowe, daughter of the Earl of Harby, and an acquaintance of his mother who shares her interest in needlework. Deirdre is thin and plain and dealing with her mother's outrageous choices for her wardrobe which don't suit her at all.

Everything should be fine. Except Deirdre has already met a man that she would prefer to marry. She has a deal with her mother that she will be given permission to marry him if she doesn't receive an offer during her London Season. Don's proposal wrecks her plans but she can't turn him down according to the deal she made with her mother.

It doesn't take long for Don to fall in love with Deirdre but it isn't easy for him to convince her that he is the right man for her. I liked that the two of them share a sense of humor. I also liked that he saw all of Deirdre's strengths and loved her for them.

Favorite Quote:
A light flickered in his eyes. "You should never warn the enemy. Now I have only to capture your hands before assaulting you."

Deirdre's eyes didn't waver from his. "Then I will wait until I am free. I mean what I say, my lord. Kiss me again and I will hit you with all the power in my arm at the first occasion, even if it takes decades!"

He burst out laughing. "I am entranced! Imagine us, two decrepit specimens lingering at Bath, when you see your opportunity at last. You totter over to my side and tip me out of my Bath chair with a strong right. "

Despite her fury, a laugh escaped Deirdre. "I would not have to wait that long, I assure you."
I bought this one sometime before May 8, 2008. You can buy your copy here.

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