The time has come for another Regency Romance Review. Not sure I’ve made much of a dent in the box I bought last summer, but onward I will go. This one I meant to finish and review in December, but Christmastime always gets so busy, and then there was January, and then my Dad passed away, and then, then. There’s always an “and then.”
A Regency Holiday, “Delightful and Heartwarming Christmas Stories by Five Acclaimed Regency Authors,” published by Jove Regency Romance in 1991. This is likely the most recent one from the batch. As I don’t particularly care for short stories and read them sporadically, it’s taking awhile for me to get through this. Two stories yet to go, but some quick reviews on the first three:
The Girl with Airs: This one stars a Scottish laird and although he was described as being very handsome, he favors lightskirts or loose women, and talks in dialect. I have been to Scotland. It’s beautiful and the language and accents are all great. However, the way the Scottish dialect looks written down has always looked like baby talk to me, and thus it’s always difficult for me to take the characters talking the dialect seriously. Had the same trouble trying to read Outlander. Fortunately the “girl with airs” was taken in by the accent and the actually very smart laird who ended up wooing her. Written by Elizabeth Mansfield, which is interesting, because the box actually contains one or two of her novels. I plan to read her The Fifth Kiss next. Why does it take the couple five kisses? If you don’t know in the first kiss, maybe it’s not really love. Just kidding.
Proof in the Pudding: Although it’s maybe not the best choice to base a story around the guy who didn’t get the girl, this was amusing. Humans are so, so clueless, and sometimes reading or watching stories about people even more clueless than us can bring us real joy. Really. The ending was funny, but not realistic, and way too contrived. Probably the lovers don’t care, because at least they got together. Poor Virgil Clive lost not only a possible bride, but also a tasty pudding, a valuable coin, and what little what left of his dignity. By Monette Cummings.
A Christmas Spirit: By Sarah Eagle. My favorite part was the title pages which says, “in memory of my grandfather, Edwin John Hawkes, Sr., who was always Father Christmas.” Seriously, that warmed my heart. This story had real potential and would be better as a full length novel. The young Earl of Denham Abbey is plagued with annoying relatives, sudden visitors, and a ghost who likes to play cupid. The beginning where a girl is stuck there in bad weather reminded me a bit of the Princess and the Pea, and I started to wonder if I should write a retelling of that fairy tale, but found that there have been, so, so, so many remakes and rewrites already. Anyway, the sudden kiss was romantic, but really, does this ever happen in real life? Perhaps not in the time of Me Too and COVID, but there still may be some brave men that throw caution to the wind. The earl was a bit of an absent minded professor type who got his girl because she’d been in love with him for oh, so many years. Girls, sometimes waiting for love works, at least in stories.
Christmas at Wickly: I really like the writing so far in this one and it has a spunky grandma who is going to trap her grandson, the Earl of Wickham, into marrying and settling down. By Judith Nelson, who also may have another novel in this stack I have.
The Kissing Bough: The last one is written by Martha Powers and has chapters split up by kisses. Ends in a fifth kiss. Ok, so what is it about fifth kisses? Is this some sort of thing, a milestone in a relationship or romance? Were fifth kisses special in the Regency era for some reason? No idea, but readers, if any of you are in new relationships, pay attention to your fifth kiss. Maybe it opens a door to another dimension where 2020 is a good year.
Some musings. So my dad died about a month ago and I miss him so much. I know I’ll see him again in heaven, but some days the tears just come and there’s nothing I can do about it. Fortunately, God has blessed me and my mom and siblings with wonderful family and friends who have surrounded us with our love. Life has felt a bit surreal this past month, and the best part has been all the wonderful hugs from people, something I’ve missed so, so much lately. Human contact and skinship is key to health. In our own pain, God has also showed us how many others are hurting. So many who have recently or not so recently lost spouses, family friends, loved ones, and dear ones. It makes me pay more attention now, to others who are hurting in the same way.
It is so awesome how God works. How unexpected he is, and how surprising. God is definitely romantic in his ways. Today he answered a prayer that I didn’t even realize I asked. He knew, he just knew that I wanted an opportunity to make an in person apology to someone, and he made that happen! The timing was perfect. God’s perfect timing.
Another one, and this is a little gross, so sorry if you’re squeamish, but I had this tiny cyst on me, this little hole in my skin for over twenty years, and suddenly in January it got infected and and horror show gross. I was so, so sure I would have to have surgery on it or something, but lo and behold after packing and bandaids for a few weeks, it’s almost all healed! And now there will be no hole at all. Why did this happen and heal now? God was showing me his power, and the power of our God-given bodies to heal, even after such a long time. It’s pretty great. That taught me it’s never too late to heal, and we should never give up on it. We don’t have to be stuck in one bad spot all our lives. God can help us and circumstances change for the better.