Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review of "A Midwinter Ball" Regency Romance Anthology

"Glamorous Couple Vintage Art"
I am a huge clean Regency romance fan of late. I enjoyed Jane Austen novels in high school and college.

Over four years ago, I started reading Sarah M. Eden's regency romance novels and fell in love with the genre. She wrote with humor and a deep point of view. It was like reading a modern Jane Austen novel. Soon I discovered many more Regency romance authors such as Julie Klassen, Carla Kelly, Ruth Axtell (Morren), Karen Cogan, and so many more that I can't possibly list.

I made it through one and a half of Georgette Heyer's books, but they were written in the more passive style of Jane Austen.

So I really enjoyed reading this collection of clean romance novellas A Timeless Regency Collection: a Midwinter Ball, featuring Heidi Ashworth, Annette Lyon, and Michele Paige Holmes.

Much Ado About Dancing by Heidi Ashworth

I started reading the second book in the Miss Delacourt series of Heidi Ashworth's but got lost. This is why I should start with the first book in the series, which I intend to do after reading Much Ado About Dancing.

Lord Northrup has ruined Analisa's chances of a match because of his threat to possible suitors, but Analisa found the perfect host Mrs. Smith to remedy her single status at Dance Hall. Dance Hall seems like the perfect solution for these days :).

I enjoyed the witty repartee in this comedy of manners since Analisa and Northrup lacked certain manners--silence, tempers. Analisa deserved a good talking-to because she wouldn't tell the truth about the letters! Her lying by silence and coyness got her nowhere.

Sweeter Than Any Dream by Annette Lyon

Olivia Wallington (not like Duke of Wellington) suffers at the hand of her mother and aunt who treat her like the "very monster of Frankenstein." 

She copes through staying silent, or eating to avoid conversation. Annette Lyon wrote "A chewing mouth was a mouth incapable of speaking." At least if you show your manners, which doesn't always happen in my house.

Edward made the horrible mistake of portraying what Olivia perceived as pity. The line "Dancing is the object of pity was far worse than sitting at the edge of the room without a single partner" feels reminiscent of a Jane Austen observation.

I like Olivia's dream shadow man because that's how I dreamed before I was engaged (or it was whatever current crush I had. How embarrassing!). And the dream man soon takes on an identity.

I cheered for Olivia when she braved telling the truth since the truth allowed her to live more fully.

An Invitation to Dance by Michele Paige Holmes

I enjoyed reading Michele Holmes novella in the A Timeless Romance Anthology: A European Collection. I checked out one of her books from the library, but I didn't finish it. I am so awful because I wanted to read a historical or regency romance instead. 

Last night, I saw Holmes has three Regency romance novellas, but they aren't available through my library. Maybe I should put in a request at my library.

I love the mouthful name Lady Eleanora Theodesia Whitticomb of 11 syllables. In fact, I'm jealous because I never had a middle name and this character does. My father forgot to put "Rose" on my birth certificate forms. However, I prefer simplicity too like Lady Ella and enjoy the simplicity filling out forms faster than others with middle names.

Mr. Darling has a rather Mr. Darcy moment of "She has pretty eyes" versus the "fine" eyes of Elizabeth Bennett. He has other reasons for staying aloof though.

I enjoy the journey of Ella and Mr. Darling turning their inabilities into abilities together (p. 134). And the plot twist along the way.