Thursday, January 05, 2006

Review: A Bird in Hand; A. Lane

As previously noted I am participating in the TBR Challenge & so I dug this out of my bookcase. Originally published by Signet in 1999 this is a traditional Regency written by Allison Lane.

Randolph Catherwood, Earl of Symington, heir to the Duke of Whitfield, is en route to authenticate a manuscript purported to be an original Chaucer. While enduring a horrendous thunderstorm he sees a Lady and her horse fall into a raging stream after the bank collapses. Lady Elizabeth Walton, mired in Cumberland by poverty & a cruel father is the local healer. She was returning home after treating her aunt for 'flu. After spending the night together in an empty cottage, Elizabeth lies about her identity & flees home refusing Symington's offer of marriage.

A complicated house party storyline follows. Included are the cruel & manipulative father, the meek & scheming mother, the greedy & shallow younger sister, hidden identities & a library full of rare manuscripts. The plot is a tried & true one, but the hero's claustrophobia makes him unique. Imagine that- a flawed hero!

Anyhow, the heroine is an independant, intelligent woman of twenty four & the hero is thirty one. They manage to have actual conversations &, despite the plot machanisms, get to know each other in a mature & realistic way. Each has their flaws, but those are nicely tied in. In fact the characters are surprisingly accepting, no rose colored glasses here.

An enchanting & quick read. Highly recommended, especially if you like romances leavened with flawed yet appealing protagonists.

MAILI is back today! Run over there & say hi & tell her never to leave again.

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