Elizabeth Rolls moved onto my keeper shelf some while ago and I have waited for this book to be released with great anticipation. As a lover of the trad Regency, it is increasingly difficult to find new authors who can give me a satisfying read that ticks all of my boxes. Elizabeth Rolls has matured into a terrific writer of Regencies that nod to the older style yet contain sexual scenes that are moving, poignant and genuinely part of the story.
Briefly, without wishing to reveal too many spoilers, this is a novel with a hero who appeared in two of her previous books, Viscount Braybrook, and Christy Daventry, the daughter of a scandalous relationship between a gently-bred woman and a duke. Braybrook's own background contains some real surprises as we learn about him and he has four half-siblings, some of whom are young enough to be his own children. He is surprisingly believable and admirable as a father figure to them and his love and care for them is truly touching. His step-mother, Serena, is a pivotal character and I really liked her.
The author writes with a wonderful feel for the period, her dialogue is smooth and flowing and she creates characters of great dimension. You truly care about what happens to them and want to cheer them on as they make mistakes, misjudgments and misinterpretations but eventually come togther in love and harmony. Rolls uses illigitamacy, class divides, moral standards and forgiving and all-encompassing love to create a story with a dark undertone that takes into account the less forgivable attitudes of the past but lets her characters rise above it all in a totally believable way.
I truly enjoyed this book and sometimes wish that my keeper authors were like machines and could bash out their books on a monthly basis. Sadly, I will have to wait a bit longer than that for Elizabeth Roll's next book but I am already looking forward to it most eagerly. Highly recommended to all lovers of the Regency genre. Enjoy!