This romance is set in the Regency Period in England (early 1800's) is well-written and in good taste. Corey McFadden contrasts two cousins, both in their early twenties, as they try to find their way, in British society. McFadden does an excellent job of building characterization through dialog. She does it so well that you think you know the characters. Caroline Quinn is the selfish cousin, well-to-do, and pampered. Elspeth Quinn, whose family has fallen on hard times, is poor, but generous and likable. Her mother sends her to spend the summer with her more affluent aunt and her cousin, Caroline. Caroline has her eye on an attractive bachelor, Julian Thorpe, and feels her cousin, simple and country-bred, might make Caroline more attractive to Julian.
From this starting point, McFadden constructs a very charming story of love and character that will keep you guessing what will happen all through the novel.
This report prepared by Maurice A. Williams
Leisure, Jun 2003, 5.99, 305 pp.
Elspeth Quinn prefers not to be the recipient of her Aunt Betina's kindness as she knows that her relative detests her and her mother, the embarrassing poor relations. Still, her widowed mom feels a season would be good for her daughter so the protesting Elspeth travels to Bath to join her dazzling cousin Caroline as the frumpy charity case.
Julian Thorne is considered the prime meat of the season by both the husband seekers and their mamas though he prefers rustication rather than Assembly rooms. The betting line says Caroline is the odds on favorite to reel him in as her spouse. So whey does he spend so much time with the poor cousin kissing her and making Elspeth's heart pound? Elspeth cannot believe he desires her above all and her odious Aunt warns her of being an ingrate making Julian's quest that much harder.
Though readers will wonder why the pretty wealthy debutantes set their eyes on Julian, he is a wonderful lead character who knows what he wants and goes about trying to achieve his heart's desire. Elspeth is the mouse that roars so that the audience will adore her. Her relatives are slimy snobs who offer nothing redeeming. Fans of a simplistic but fun Regency romance will appreciate Corey McFadden's tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner