Friday, March 23, 2012

Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden

Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden

Harry Windover adores blonde, green-eyes Athena Lancaster, but alas, a penniless man like himself has no hope of winning a young noblewoman's hand. To add insult to injury, Athena's brother-in-law and guardian, the Duke of Kielder, has asked Harry to assist Athena in finding a gentleman of her dreams. But the lovesick Harry is cunning as well: as the weeks pass, he introduces Athena to suitors who are horrifically boring, alarmingly attached to their mothers, downright rude, astoundingly self-absorbed, and utterly ridiculous. 

Athena can't comprehend why she is having so little success meeting eligible and acceptable gentlemen. Indeed, her circle of admirers couldn't be less admirable - nothing like the loyal, gentle friend she's found in Harry. But how long can Harry's scheme be hidden before it is discovered? And what will Athena do when she uncovers Harry's deception? Escape into a charming regency world in this delightfully romantic comedy of manners that will entertain you to the very last word. 

 -Published March 1st 2010 by Covenant Communications, Incorporated

Food to eat while reading:  Chocolate Violet Creams

If you thought regency romance to be stuffy and boring, think again.  Funny, romantic and delightful, Courting Miss Lancaster will have you snorting your afternoon tea through your nose.   

I met Sarah at the LDSStorymaker's Conference last year and not only is she cute and funny, she's even shorter than I am and she's a great writer.  I realize that Courting Miss Lancaster is the second in a series of related books, but it is the first of Sarah's books that I have read and because of that, it's the first to be reviewed. 

It took me awhile to get used to the jargon and way of speaking of a regency romance.  Most of the books I read tend to be contemporary and I had to switch gears.  I love Anne of Green Gables and as soon as I imagined Anne as a neighbor to Athena, I settled right in. 

Who can resist thwarted love? Athena and Harry are meant to be together.  Athena so desperately wants to be courted by a man who loves her, even if she does have unrealistic expectations of how that man will come into her life. Harry is in love with Athena but has resigned himself to the fact that if he cannot have Athena (his advances would be seen as fortune hunting), at least he can see to it that she marries well. 

London in the 1800's is peculiar, especially compared to the dating and marriage customs we follow today.  I loved getting to know the time period better.  I have heard Sarah say that she is very particular about her research for a time period and it shows in her novel.  The period style mannerisms, clothing, and colloquialisms perfectly seasoned the story, never dousing it in boring detail.  

Courting Miss Lancaster can be read out of sequence in the series.  The books are companion books and even though I haven't read the first book, Seeking Persephone, I didn't feel lost or left out.  

The story was a bit predictable, but sometimes that is nice and reliable--like how you know that when you get done putting the kids to bed there's a nice piece of dark (violet) chocolate waiting for you in the pantry. 

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