Wednesday, March 15, 2006

WHAT PRICE LOVE? by Stephanie Laurens

Recently I checked out Stephanie Laurens' latest, WHAT PRICE LOVE?, from the Popular Library. There is much action and a lot of steam (i.e., the love story is more sensual than innocent). Laurens delivers a riveting, fast-paced love story that matches two headstrong protagonists. Her heroine, Lady Priscilla Dalloway, is a drop-dead gorgeous, fiery Irish maiden. Her lover is Dillon Caxton, equally handsome, equally tempetuous. They first clash when she storms into Newmarket, Suffolk in order to rescue her twin brother Russell. He's taken a job as a horse breeder, far below his station in Society. Russell's new boss is involved in a plot to fix horse races, a scheme which led to the murder of the previous breeder. Dillon is the guardian of a register of race horses that holds the key to exposing the conspiracy. He refuses to let Priscilla examine the register. She refuses to tell him why she must.
According to the book jacket, Laurens' "series of historical romances set in Regency England. . . has captivated readers, making her one of the romance world's most beloved and popular authors."

I had heard the term "REGENCY ROMANCE" before and wondered what it meant. I consulted ROMANCE FICTION: A GUIDE TO THE GENRE by Kristin Ramsdell:

"[T]he Regency Romance (primarily set during 1811-1820) is essentially a novel of manners and social custom. The emphasis is on the characters, their relationships, and their places within a highly structured society. . . . Set within the limited sphere of London High Society, these charming confections describe a glittering, aristocratic world in which one's place in Society and acceptance by the ton are Everything." (p. 187)

Although high levels of skill in accomplishments. . . are admired in the Regency hero, these are not novels of action. . . .[M]ost of the real action is verbal and takes place at the numerous social functions--balls, routs, country weekends, nights at the opera, dinner parties, picnics. . . ." (p. 188)

This brief period in English History refers to the years that the Prince of Wales served as Regent after his father George III was declared insane.

Clearly Laurens' WHAT PRICE LOVE? is more of an historical romance set during the Regency than a Regency Romance.
Learn more about Stephanie Laurens.
For your consideration:

Doris Dixon, Raleigh Branch Library

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Have you read Linda Berdoll's Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues? It received mixed reviews on It is about the same time period of WHAT PRICE LOVE? and, according to many reviewers, quite steamy.
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