Friday, September 04, 2020

A Mini-Binge Possibility For Regency-Era Comedies of Manners

I recently wrote about a binge-worthy trilogy, Truly Devious. Now I have a two-volume binge suggestion, this one dealing with the Regency-era-women-looking-for-husbands.

I am a fan of Patrice Kindl's Keeping the Castle, a book I thought had the Regency romance set up with a modern twist, because the young woman main character was...

"...all business, not romance. She's out to use her beauty, which she knows won't last long, to score a wealthy husband who will save her family's dilapidated castle home, thus providing for her mother and very young brother, as well as all the people who work for the family. A lot is riding on her. She's a lot like the female lead in a contemporary YA novel who is intent on going into a profession. The outsider male in this case isn't a rogue, as you find in the old-time romances. He's an outsider because he can actually do something. In this aristocratic world, doing nothing because you've inherited wealth is held in higher regard than being smart enough to make a buck."

Kindl did a second book set in the same world and described as a "companion volume to Keeping the Castle." A School for Brides involves a girls' boarding school where the students are being educated to become wives, though the area is woefully short on husband material. 

I found this book a little heavy on characters and their story lines. I would have been happy if some of those characters had carried their own books. However, as I got closer to the end, the skulduggery and romance provided a lot more narrative drive.

It's been so many years since I've read Keeping the Castle that I didn't realize A School for Brides included some characters from the first book until I was reading up on it in order to write this post. Read the books one after the other, so you don't miss anything the way I did. 

By the way, I also liked Patrice Kindl's Owl in Love, which is very different from Castle and School.

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