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A brilliant premise that does not deliver.
on 18 June 2011
I bought this book after falling in love with Lady W in Julia Quinn`s novels, however sadly this collection of short stories does not live up to expectations. The premise is brilliant, taking four groups of interconnected characters over a period of several days and telling their individual stories. All the four stories clevery overlap with a few identical scenes appearing in several stories but viewed from a different perspective each time. That is a very clever piece of group writing and must be praised. However good this literary device may be, it is badly let down by a lack of research into the era by some of the writers. Inaccurate diaogue (including phrases that didn`t exist till the 20th Century, such as 'hello' and 'I was just kidding') pepper the text and disrupt the flow of the narrative. Characters act in ways men and women in their situation would never have dreamed of and yet its all rather predictable. I found myself skipping pages with a mixture of boredom and irritation. It`s a real shame as I felt this book had Great potential. That said, if you know nothing about the regency period you`ll probably enjoy this, but those readers who, like me, favour historical accuracy, steer clear of this and read some of Julia Quinn`s own novels, or better still, the well researched Eloisa James.