Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Country House Courtship by Linore Rose Burkard

A truly enjoyable read, The Country House Courtship, third in Linore Rose Burkard's "Inspirational Romances for the Jane Austen Soul" shines through all the twists and turns in the road for Ariana Mornay's sister, Beatrice Forsythe, who considers setting her cap toward Mr. Tristan Barton, a deceitful and despicable scoundrel, unless she is allowed to go to London to find a suitable gentleman of good breeding and fortune.

However, five years earlier, Beatrice had promised Peter O'Brian she would marry him, but she was young then, too young to know what she was really promising. And Peter, who had disgraced himself in the second book in the series, The House in Grosvenor Square, has changed from the selfish, improper man he used to be, and is now a gentle, kind, understanding clergyman with a Christ-like love for mankind, living on a very meager salary. Peter's financial stability (including his ability to marry and raise a family) now depends almost entirely upon Ariana's husband, Phillip Mornay's, generosity. Phillip is not known for his ability to forgive, and Peter's behavior in book two prevents Phillip from trusting Peter completely.

When Ariana becomes gravely ill with a contagious fever, Beatrice sees Tristan Barton in his true light, and wonders in amazement at Peter O'Brian's compassion and empathy. But, will Barton allow a mere clergyman to marry the woman he already has designs upon? What follows is a romance worthy of its billing, a tuly inspirational romance for the Jane Austen soul.

Well done, Linore! I may have to read this once twice!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The House in Grosvenor Square by Linore Rose Burkard

Ariana's romance continues in Linore Rose Burkard's book, House in Grosvenor Square, but this time the elements of mystery and kidnapping are included. Billed as "Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen Soul," it missed the mark as a true romance novel, as Ariana is already engaged at the opening and happily married at the close, it does make room for lots of mystery and intrigue in between. One has to wonder, however, how many times one woman should be the victim of attempted and actual kidnapping in one novel, and this issue is stretched a little too far. The story did capture my attention and held me there through to the end. While I liked the story, I was very much annoyed at the head-hopping within the book, although Jane Austen did quite a bit of this herself. Abrupt point of view (POV) changes were quite irritating at times, and in one paragraph I counted four POV changes, which made the story a little difficult to follow. While Jane Austen may have been able to pull this off in the Regency era, for our modern writing it would have been better had the POV changes been confined to scene changes. That said, I felt the story a likeable one; I have and do recommend it to others. And, I will continue to read Linore Rose Burkard as I believe she has real talent in crafting Regency era novels.