Sunday, December 27, 2009

Before the Season Ends, by Linore Rose Burkard

Before the Season Ends, by Linore Rose Burkard, was given to me as a Christmas gift this year (along with its sequel, The House in Grosvenor Square) and I spent most of Christmas Day and half of the next day reading it. I couldn't put it down at any point. It's being billed as "Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen Soul" which made me particularly intrigued, as I love both the Victorian and Regency Time Periods (Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors), and Inspirational Romance is often what I write.

Before the Season Ends begins with Ariana Forsythe's family sending her to London to escape a suitor they consider unsuitable (for good reason), hoping some culture (museums, theatres, the ballet) will help round out Ariana's education and take her mind off her suitor. But, her aunt (and now her chaperone and guardian in London), Agatha Bentley, has another idea: marrying Ariana off to a rich and elegant bachelor of the highest rank. When Ariana first hears of Phillip Mornay, she decides he is perhaps the least likely candidate for a husband because he is ill-tempered and too rich to associate with anyone beneath his own station, besides being incredibly handsome. However, Before the Season Ends, Aunt Bentley is determined to make the match possible. What ensues can be scandalous, comical and laugh-out-loud delightful, especially considering Ariana, while endowed with the ability to be graceful and charming, has a tendency to let her temper flare and her outdoor manners run wild.

One of the important facets of Before the Season Ends is Ariana's devotion to God, and the role He plays in her every day life. Of course, she wants her future husband to feel as close to God as she does, but Phillip Mornay is not known for any pious inclinations, which makes his suitability, in her eyes, impossible.

If you have any leanings toward Jane Austen, the Regency Era, or just plain fun reading, you've got to read Linore Rose Burkard's book. I thoroughly enjoyed Before the Season Ends, and recommend it heartily. Thanks, Linore, for a joyful and captivating read!