Title: Lucretia: or The Heiress and the Dandy
Author: Rachel Carter
Genre: Regency Romance
Kidnappings, elopements, duels, dastardly plots. Making your debut has never been so hazardous.
Hidden away from polite society, Lucretia Lanyon spent her time daydreaming of dandies, extravagant pantaloons and intricate neckties. Now an heiress and suddenly the toast of Society, she finds her ideal man in Viscount Prendergast, the one bachelor in London who doesn’t seem interested in marrying her. Lucretia must navigate around nefarious impostors, jealous mistresses, dastardly fortune hunters, and the match-making schemes of her aunt, while she tries to attract the notice of her beau.
Christopher Prendergast, an aspiring dandy, was busy perfecting the art of tying his cravat, learning how to use his quizzing glass as a social weapon, and secretly excelling at Jackson’s boxing saloon. To everyone’s surprise, Christopher finds himself in love for the first time in his life. He must now learn how to secure a lady’s affections. He stumbles through a wooing campaign that includes bizarre gifts, terrible poetry, daring rescues and, finally, honesty.
Perfect for fans of authors such as Georgette Heyer and Jane Aiken Hodge, Lucretia is a traditional regency romance brimming with period detail, unlikely heroes, delicious villains, and the flourishing of an unlikely love.
Source: Review copy from the author
This was great fun. Taking a lot of inspiration from Georgette Heyer and capturing something of that master’s magic, this is a light, enjoyable romantic comedy of manners, with a rather perfect heroine and a surprisingly unlikely hero.
Lucretia is exceedingly likeable. She’s also beautiful and witty and smart and made even more glorious when she laughs. It would be easy to dislike her, except she’s not the least bit vain, is solicitous to her friends and is intelligent enough not to let all the flattery of her many suitors go to her head. The style of writing doesn’t mean that I feel like I got to know her very well, but I liked her anyway.
Just as I liked many other characters in this book – her cousin was fun and supportive, Christopher was unexpectedly wonderful and I loved his curious friends. The fathers tend to come out of this book a lot better than the mothers on the whole, but there are very few flat and dull characters. Even the villains have necessary motives, usually money and their inability to hold onto their own.
If I did have one quibble it’s that this style won’t suit everyone – if you don’t like Heyer, you won’t like this – and it does occasionally wander into long sections that either show off how excellently the author has research the period, or into the minute details of one or other of the lesser characters. Some of these deviations got a bit too long and my interest waned, but once it was back to Lucretia or the main plot, I was soon back into the swing of things and enjoying it all again. The beginning is an excellent example of this, too much time spent on the aunt rather than getting on with meeting Lucretia and learning about her situation. (But Heyer is guilty of this too at times. Frederica is one of my favourite of hers, but I still wish Charis, Endymion and Harry weren’t in it, taking up so much space that could have been better filled with Felix.)
On the whole, though, this was lovely. It’s more of a Regency comedy than a pure romance, since the characters are held at a distance and as unusual as the relationship was, it also seemed rather tepid at times, but it’s light and fun and engaging throughout. There aren’t many people about today who can successfully pull off this style of writing, so I very much look forward to seeing what else this author can produce.
Lucretia: or The Heiress and the Dandy is Out Now.
Visit Rachel Carter for more details.