Anne Townsend doesn’t ask for much. Plain and poor, she’d settle for the funds to put food on the table. Making a wish on the fabled Fairy Steps is hardly a solid solution, but to see her two sisters taken care of, Anne’s willing to try anything. Yet when she finds herself suddenly surrounded with suitors, romance is now a possibility for the spinster everyone always ignored except with the one man who will never want her…
Nathaniel Matthews has no time for courting. As the eldest, he has his family’s lost fortune to rebuild, and his reckless brother to manage before he gambles his future away. Odd that Nathaniel can think of little but kissing bright-eyed Anne, who seems to be fighting off admirers from all sides. Is it the country air, or is Nathaniel ready to discover that love has a magic all its own?
This is fairly good Regency romance fare, and I’m sure many fans of the subgenre will really enjoy it. It has likeable characters (though the mean beautiful sister has been DONE TO DEATH – but at least she wasn’t blonde!), a nice feel, and all the things a person goes to the Regency romance subgenre for.
I did have a problem with the style though, and that’s because while the author clearly has an image of each scene in her mind, it doesn’t always translate well to the page.
An example: at the beginning, hero and heroine meet and exchange a few words. The whole thing is only a minute or so with them together. Then we jump to the next chapter, and we’re hearing about how much the hero likes her, and how people are imagining them as a couple, and we’re told how well he understands her personality.
When did this happen? Did we skip a few scenes and catch up with them later? I think the author knew what she wanted to convey, but I’m not sure it worked for me.
Another example: there are scenes where the heroine is in the room one moment, and then the next moment the men are talking about her. Here I am, wondering how they could be that rude, but it turns out she’d actually left the room and even though the author knew it, she forgot to tell us.
The men exchange a couple of sentences of conversation, and then the heroine suddenly reappears, carrying a tray of tea and cakes. WHEN did she have time to prepare that? Time is an odd thing in this book.
I have no particular objections to plot or characterisation. I think this book slots nicely into a very popular genre, and that the author has promise, even if it isn’t quite realised yet.
I also feel the need to warn people that this is historical romance, not a fairy tale. Some readers seemed to be confused by the title, the blurb, and the opening scene, and expected a fantasy romance.
Nothing really objectionable here.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.