Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Bachelor's Bargain
Title: The Bachelor’s Bargain
Author: Catherine Palmer
From the back cover:
Housemaid Anne Webster will stop at nothing to save her family from their dire circumstances. Even if it means accepting the proposal of the roguish Ruel Chouteau, Marquess of Blackthorne, who has just returned to England from the Americas under a veil of mystery. Both have their own agendas—she to use his riches, and he to use her lace-making skills—but neither could have dreamed what they would discover on the other side of their scheming.
As always, society tattler Miss Pickworth has a thing or two to say about this scandalous union. Anne and Ruel must keep their banter to a minimum and play the role of a happy couple.
He’s handsome and arrogant; she’s smart and obstinate. But can Anne and Ruel put their differences aside to fend off an unexpected foe?
The rustle of satin… The formality of tea… The gloved fingertips of the ladies and the top hats and coat tails of the gentlemen… A pair of smiling eyes peeking from behind a fan. There is just something special about the regency period for me. I’m such a sucker for romance and what could be more romantic than a Regency with lace as a central theme?
One of the reasons I like Regencies so much is that the rules and etiquette of the times force the author to use witty banter between the leads to establish a real relationship instead of just a physical attraction. This author managed to do both in a way that surprised and thrilled me. Not only did I believe and feel Ruel and Anne getting closer and falling in love, but they had that spark…the tension that comes only in great romances.
Although there is the theme of the “good” girl and redemption for the “bad” boy, that really oversimplifies these characters. Both Anne and Ruel are strong, intelligent, forceful personalities. She has a goal in mind and is determined to reach it no matter what it costs. He also is driven by his goal, both of their goals having to do with preserving and saving their families, but he is so intrigued by her that he may just be willing to amend his plans – slightly - to include her.
Their headstrong personalities set up many of their difficulties… but the author has still more in store for this couple. This was a wonderful book. I am going to add Catherine Palmer to my list of all time favorite authors and snatch up any of her other books I can find. I’m sure Miss Pickworth would approve.
Posted by Margaret Metz at 1:57 PM