Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Lady of Expectations; S. Laurens

This is an older title by Ms. Laurens. It was published by Mira in 1995. Her page says they are hard to locate, but I found mine in the drugstore down the road. I find that I like Ms. Laurens' older, shorter works more than many of her new ones. A fellow romance reader pointed out that this might be because they aren't part of her Cynster series & I think that is a valid observation. This is a medium length Regency- longer than a traditional but shorter than standard long Regencies here in the US. I understand these were written for the Harlequin Mills & Boon in the UK so I surmise that is why they are different from the others in this subgenre.

Jack Lester and his brother have a reputation around the Ton as needing to marry a wealthy heiress as their family circumstances are 'straightened.' However, Jack Lester has been playing the Exchange and *gasp, horror!* with the assistance of Mr. Webb Jack has managed to recover the family fortunes. Now the problem is, he needs a wife and an heir. Poor Jack- he wants a wife not a gold digger. How to find one before word gets around that his family fortunes have been resurrected?

Sophie Winterton is a young woman in her early twenties whose mother died shortly after her society debut and thus was forced to retire to the country for mourning. Her father is a paleontologist (or archeologist, I can't remember which) who has at long last come out from mourning and gone abroad to study. Unlike many other romances where the daughter is either dragged along or abandoned or whatever other unlikely circumstance, Sophie's father leaves her with her maternal aunt and her family. A loving and caring family setup which isn't often seen in fiction. Too boring maybe? Anyhow. Sophie has no money, but wants a marriage where she loves her husband.

The plot is a chestnut in the romance community and yet Ms. Laurens portray Jack and Sophie as real, three dimensional people who have legitimate goals and needs and viewpoints. Sophie seems a bits stiff at times and I missed a taste of Ms. Laurens' spiciness, but overall I think this better than many other Regencies I've read (and they're some of my favorites).

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