August 28, 2007
Rating: 4 Cups
Lady Annabelle Hamilton is seen by the Ton as a spinster. Unmarried at the age of 24, she is seen by society as a plain woman from a good family. Although it is unknown around town, Annabelle has been left a sizable fortune from her father’s estate and is determined to marry only for love.
Laird Ian MacKay, Earl of Graenfrae, is furious when the contents of his step-father’s will are read. In order for him to receive any funds at all to help with the upkeep of Graenfrae, he has to marry within one year.
Ian travels to London for the season in search of a bride. He has specific qualities in mind a potential bride should possess. Chief among these qualities are that she should be plain, older in age, and of modest income. Shortly upon his arrival in London, he meets the perfect candidate in Annabelle Hamilton. Ian is surprised to discover that she will not be easily courted. She has a strong mind and radical ideas about women’s rights and Ian must work very hard to gain her favor. Unfortunately, a dangerous and desperate suitor covets Annabelle for her money and will stop at nothing to possess her.
Lucy Monroe’s newest novel is a delight to historical romance lovers. She pairs a classic hero with a not-so-classic heroine and sparks fly. The secondary characters are not just mannequin type people to fill in the story, but are real as they are greatly involved in the story of Annabelle and Ian. The despicable villain is a surprise and you never can predict when he will make an appearance. Annabelle’s feisty independence as a “bluestocking” who champions women’s rights is a superb addition, which I have never before seen in a regency novel. Beautifully written to illustrate the characters and opinions of the people of this era, Annabelle’s Courtship is true Regency at its best.
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