Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Sim shared more of her trip to England when she was a young woman on her personal blog. She also linked up her take on The Girl on the Train, the book I reviewed last week, at Chapter 1 – Take 1. I loved her choices for casting the characters for the movie version.
Carole of Carole’s Book Corner reviewed the mystery novel Cold Revenge by Jo A Hiestand. I was thrilled to learn that the author lives in St. Louis, like I do, even though she writes novels set in Britain.
Book: A Shocking Delight and Too Dangerous for a Lady by Jo Beverley, books #15 and #16 in the Company of Rogues series
Publication date: 2014 and 2015
Pages: 432 and 432
Source: purchased as e-books
Summary: A Shocking Delight and Too Dangerous for a Lady are the latest additions to the long running Company of Rogues series by Jo Beverley. These novels are set during the Regency period in England — from 1811 to 1820, when King George the Third was considered unfit to rule and his son, the Prince Regent (later King George the Fourth), took on the powers of the monarch.
In A Shocking Delight, a merchant’s daughter takes an opportunity to mix with London society during the season. She doesn’t fit in particularly well, but neither does the Earl of Wyvern who never expected to be an Earl but desperately requires a wife with money to set things right in his coastal village. Smuggling is a theme of this novel with different characters representing opposing views so that the reader gets a good understanding of the issue.
Too Dangerous for a Lady contains more political intrigue and a less compromising approach — the bad guys and gals are really bad and the reader has plenty of good characters to root on to victory. Our heroine is a lady from an impoverished family off to visit a dying rich uncle who might improve her fortune. The identity of our hero is a bit more complicated with a warrior’s past, a spy’s present, and a future that may or may not be able to accommodate our heroine.
Thoughts: I think I’ve read all of this series, but there was a several year break between the publication of book #14, Lady Beware, and these two books published in the last couple of years. The previous books in the Company of Rogues series were published before I started using Goodreads or keeping this blog — my records about books read before then are very spotty!
The Regency is the time period when Jane Austen wrote her contemporary novels. Their popularity to the modern day led to that era being a common setting for historical romances. When I was younger, there were still series books that are now called Traditional Regency Romances that were formulaic, sweet, and short. I never enjoyed those as much as the newer genre, Regency Historical Romances, that are darker, more nuanced, and long enough to really sink into the time period and the characters.
Jo Beverley, like others of my favorite romance authors including Mary Jo Putney and Mary Balogh, started out in Traditional Regency and transitioned to Regency Historical Romances. I enjoyed both of these books and I’m looking forward to the next installment in the Company of Rogues, The Viscount Needs a Wife is due out in April 2016. According to the summary on Jo Beverley’s website, this book will feature a hero who appeared as a sidekick in Too Dangerous for a Lady. That will be fun — Braydon was a great character that I’ll enjoy getting to know better.
Jo Beverley has a terrific resource on her website outlining the use of aristocratic titles in England in the 18th and 19th century. She wrote it primarily for writers, but it’s also a great reference for confused readers, including how to pronounce the words Marquess and Marchioness.
Do you read romances set during the Regency period?