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Jane fled the house and a friend found her a place at Larkwoods, the Devon home of Lady Payton and her son Sebastian, the baron. Sebastian had been crippled in a riding accident as a child; his legs never grew and he had severe pain which was gradually wearing him down.

He tutored Jane, teaching her to read good books and to speak without her Cockney accent, while Lady Payton taught her upper class manners. Sebastian married Jane and they had a son, Clinton. After the deaths of Sebastian and his mother, Jane remained at Larkwoods with little Clinton now Baron Payton , until Lady Stanfield visited her and urged her to return to London and enter society, where Jane met Jaspar again.

But Leach is in London too, and he will make Jane his victim again if he can. This is an early Norma Lee Clark novel. It does not have any of the humor of her later books; it seems old fashioned and melodramatic, more in the style of historical romances of the s and prior; more soap than substance, more plot than point. It's reasonably entertaining but she did much better later.

Edward Fambrough, Seventh Earl of Danver had a problem -- he had learned from his mother that his young cousin and ward Tom Haverstock was infatuated with pretty, flirtatious Miss Kitty Farthingham. Edward would have allowed the match if he thought her suitable, despite Tom's youth.

Unfortunately it was just after he had had a row with his dismissed mistress that he sighted Miss Farthingham with Tom outside a shop, only it was the wrong Miss Farthingham -- it was her cousin Sara. Danver quarreled with her as he drove her home, so Sara did not correct his error, but said she'd do what she pleased about Tom.

The next time Danver saw Sara it was at Lady Haverstock's ball. He waltzed with her, and though they were still angry with each other about the mistaken identity episode, they also found things to laugh about together. Ordinarily that would be the beginning of a beautiful relationship, but there were roadblocks -- Kitty was still a scandal magnet, Tom was still convinced that Kitty was the one for him, Danver was half persuaded that Kitty's brother, Major Charles Farthingham, was carrying on with Sara, and his mother Cressilia, Lady Danver, had no intention of giving up the reins at Swinford Abbey to any but a bride she had chosen herself.

This is quite a short novel, which is fortunate since there isn't much story to it, but I found it quite readable. The pacing is good, the characters are well drawn, and their attitudes seem reasonable enough under the circumstances. While it is true that five minutes' honest discussion with everybody in one room would have straightened everything out, sometimes life isn't like that, and fiction needn't be either.

Clarissa Harcourt, Dowager Duchess of Belfort, at 24 had been widowed for a year. She had escaped a limited life as companion to her Aunt Dorothea and her pugs by her marriage to Robert Harcourt, Duke of Belfort. Although the age disparity was great, she had been genuinely fond of her husband and it was a real marriage, though no children resulted. After his death she was lost for a while; she fell in with fast company and her reputation suffered.

Anne, Lady Talmadge befriended her and helped her repair her reputation somewhat, but Richard Harcourt, the new duke, encouraged the rumors. He wanted Clarissa and had nearly raped her when he caught her alone. Clarissa had to stay on at Belfort House, where Richard also lived, because her husband's will stated that she could not get control of her funds until 18 months after his death.

In the meantime she had her loyal maid Martha for support, and she locked her bedroom door at night. Once again her friend Anne came to the rescue; she had a sister who owned Metcalfe Farm in faraway Yorkshire, now vacant. Anne made the arrangements and Clarissa went there under the name of Mrs. Wyndham her maiden name , with Martha. Sir Jeremy Sutcliffe of Thornbeck House, a widower, studied Roman history and had been working on a book for some years. He spent half his days working on his history and the other half with his bailiff, so that his young daughter Susannah got little of his time.

Susannah had only Nurse, who called her a daughter of Delilah, and a governess, Miss Harte, who rigorously enforced notions of proper behavior and the importance of Turning Out Well. Susannah sneaked off whenever she could. On one particular day, Susannah was hurt that no one had remembered that it was her ninth birthday, and she took off on one of her rambles. She was caught in a sudden bad snowstorm and Clarissa found her half frozen on her doorstep. Jeremy met Clarissa when she was going for the doctor, dressed in old clothes as a man.

Sparks of irritation flew at first but as they got better acquainted, an attraction began — but Richard was still searching for Clarissa, and thanks to a word dropped by his latest possession, the kitchen maid Tansy, eventually he found her. There is absolutely nothing new in this book, and yet I finished it.

It flows smoothly, and the characters are so understandable and so well depicted, that I didn't care that it held no surprises and even had a couple of threads that were dropped. It is unusual too in that it has a pretty cover that illustrates a scene from the story and actually gets the details right.

Elizabeth Lynch only wrote this one regency, and I wonder why she didn't do more. I would have bought them, if only for her smooth writing style. To make ends meet, Miss Adelaide Winstead wrote a popular boxing column for the Morning Post under the name of Anonymous. The columns were read as much for the bits of gossip in them as for the boxing match accounts. Addie did it for the money as much as love of the pugilistic sciences; her father had been an expert on boxing and a close friend of John "Gentleman" Jackson, and had taught Addie well, but he had been no such expert on investments and had lost a great deal of money in a Lapland tea plantation scheme.

Addie's little family of her Aunt Honoria and her younger sister Justine were therefore short on funds. So Addie talked Jackson into allowing her to watch the bouts in his salon, disguised as a maid.

The plan worked well until one morning a drunken Raymond Walters accosted Addie on the street, assuming from her maid's disguise that she was for hire. During one such session Addie observed that John Fitzwilliam, Fourth Earl of Claremont, was one of the worst boxers she'd ever seen.

Their parents had proposed a match when they were children, and Honoria had been hoping Fitz would finally ask Addie to wed, but he hadn't done so, mostly because he had an amazingly skilled mistress called Bella in his employ. Fitz meant to marry Addie, eventually, someday or other. During a visit to Vauxhall Gardens, Walters drunk again recognizes Addie and calls her a doxy. Fitz calls him out, and, knowing that Fitz is a crack shot, Walters chooses fists as his weapons.

Addie gets herself engaged to Mr. Wallace Raines, a thoroughgoing hypochondriac who believes one is what one eats, and the consumption of poultry will make ladies volatile. Wallace has finally got his mama's approval to propose to Addie, but Jackson has a plan: Fitz must train for the duel with someone, and who better than Addie? Usually I'm not much on the lighter sort of regency that was a staple of the Zebra line, but this was an exception. I actually laughed at many bits in this, my favorite being the scene when Wallace gets down on his knees and begs Addie to give up chicken as his mama will no longer countenance their match if Addie falls victim to "poultry instability".

I thought it a very successful comedy. Her maid Dolly had been set to spy on her, so she had sneaked into the church alone to evade her. So he kissed her. But when he saw the tears on her cheeks, Justin questioned her about her circumstances. Anne told him that her Uncle Cosmo controlled her fortune and was trying to force her into an arranged marriage; he had even told her to order a wedding dress, groom unknown. When Justin heard the names of the men her uncle was considering for her, he decided to help her.

After taking the measure of Lord Alington, the frontrunner, at Lady Chalfont's musicale, Justin decided Anne must absolutely not be forced into marrying him; Alington was obsessed with her but only as the perfect piece for his collection. Anne told Justin that her birthday was approaching and she would be free of her uncle's guardianship after that. The next morning she stole out and met Justin, who took her to his Aunt Mary's house.

Together the three made a plan to give out that Anne had other suitors and was already betrothed to someone else. But Alington and Uncle Cosmo saw through their ruse, and then the frightening attempts to abduct Anne began. Having Anne leave Aunt Mary's to go to crowded social events where Alington could snatch her was even sillier.

Also, this author has a particular stylistic habit that gets on my nerves: It got so I was waiting for the next 'most' to drop. I did finish the book to find out what happened, but I think it's one of the author's weaker entries. I found the author's afterword the most interesting thing about it. Lord Francis Aubrey, "that morose little man", was uncle and trustee to Jack, the young Marquess of Eltham. Jack was a bit of a handful; he had promised his mistress Miss Ada Gainey the youngest of the "Golden Gaineys" a house, but his uncle wouldn't advance him the funds, so Jack took her to his country estate, Hoyle Park, for the summer, where there was a cottage empty in the Wilderness Walk.

Francis went down also to keep an eye on Jack. Francis was not well liked in general because of his manner, and he was even suspected of misappropriating Jack's funds. Miss Caroline Pryor was staying nearby at Maitland Farm with her married sister Lavinia and her children.

Lavinia did not want to leave London but her stuffed shirt husband Arthur insisted. Lavinia had once been engaged to Francis but he made her uncomfortable and she broke off the match on the grounds that her father's bank had failed.

Caroline gradually develops a promising friendship with Francis, which is put to the test when Ada goes missing and an anonymous article is published in London asserting that Francis murdered her.

I liked this short tale with its tidy mystery plot. It has some unusual elements -— a family of beautiful whores who are devoted to each other and for whom that way of life is ordinary and natural to them, and a hero who is not well liked and is an inch shorter than his lady. Bishop is witty and her characterizations are always a bit different and more dimensional than one might expect.

A short but satisfying read. At the death of her father, the Earl of Hilsborough, Lady Chantal Delaney was left a considerable heiress. The title went to her cousin, not a bad fellow, but his brother Giffard Delaney had plans for her future: To that end he had tried to break her spirit by semi-starvation and the dismissal of all her old servants at Delaney Court, except for her old nurse Hepsie. If she did not agree to marry him, he would quietly continue to spread rumors about her mental condition and have her committed, and gain control of her fortune that way.

Hepsie, though ill, helped Chantal plan an escape. Chantal would avoid her jailers by creeping out of the house at night and leaving the estate grounds by the least expected way — a climb down the face of the quarry that formed one of the estate's boundaries. She would then make her way to her father's attorney in London.

All went well until Chantal hit a patch of scree and fell into water at the bottom. She woke up in a gypsy van with a dog called Jester, being driven by an artistic gentleman who did not give her his name.

Dominic Merriden at first thought Chantal a willful schoolgirl on an escapade, than a spoiled society lady, but when he heard Chantal's tale in full, he took her to their house at Claverton, where she met his older brother Oliver, half blind and crippled from war wounds, and their mother.

Together they made a plan to keep Chantal safe from her cousin until her affairs could be untangled: Cousin Giffard would not be able to trace Chantal there, they thought. But they were wrong about that; Giffard was searching for Chantal and it was only a matter of time until he would find her. Mira Stables is one of my favorite vintage regency authors for romantic adventure. I liked Dominic, a second son who secretly supports charities and loves his brother Oliver so much that he willingly shoulders much of the heir's work when he could have had a brilliant career of his own.

Chantal seemed at first a typical feisty heroine, but she shows brains and courage of her own. And who could not like Jester the hound? It may be a one-time read, but it's an entertaining way to spend an evening. Her mother Arabella, a former actress and a shrewd, determined and manipulative mother, wanted all her children to marry well so that she could bully one of them into letting her stay in London and continue the lifestyle she had become accustomed to since marrying Lord Shallcross.

Melanie was lovely but spoiled and a dyed in the wool drama queen. She had talked of her plans for marrying her cousin Captain Mark Verelst so much that when he returned on leave, Mark the poor relation felt in honor he'd have to marry her, but fortunately Arabella had arranged a match with wealthy Lord Windom for Melanie. Melanie got to play her scene of love tragically lost so convincingly that her sister Kate, who loved Mark, was convinced it was true, and what with one thing and another, all Mark's attempts to woo Kate went nowhere, until a sudden tragedy changed things radically.

Cathryn Huntington Chadwick, aka Kate Huntington, is one of my favorite "light" regency authors. I like her wit and writing style, especially her sense of pacing. This is not a story of the Big Misunderstanding; rather it is a tale of many small misinterpretations that add up to chaos in the characters' lives.

Ordinarily I'd be impatient with these people for not straightening their affairs out sooner, but she makes it all sound not only plausible but inevitable. I enjoyed the ride. There is a sequel, A Cruel Deception , which continues the Verelsts' tale.

Arrangements were made for Miss Alison Clearwell, 18, to journey to St. Petersburg to spend six months with her Uncle Thomas and his wife Natalia. Miss Wright, the proprietress of the seminary at which Alison had stayed while her father was in Jamaica, engaged a Mrs.

Taylor to chaperone her, but that lady ran off with a baron in Stockholm and left Alison alone. The Duchess of Albemarle's captain had looked after her, but that ship burned and sank in the harbor at Stockholm, along with all of Alison's possessions.

Captain Merryvale sent the seaman Billy with Alison to an inn thought to be respectable, where she might stay the night before taking passage on the Pavlovsk to St. The inn was occupied by a party of roistering Russian officers, and Alison caught the eye of one of them, Prince Nikolai Ivanovich Naryshky. Naryshky was drunk and meant to have her, by force if necessary.

He tried the door but Billy had warned her to wedge it shut — so then he tried the balcony. He was inside her room and about to rape her when Francis, Lord Buckingham heard her cries and pulled Naryshky off her. Buckingham stayed the night in her room to make sure the Russian didn't return.

Naryshky was the enemy of both of them from that time on. Buckingham was in St. Petersburg ostensibly to purchase a blood colt from Czar Alexander, but in reality he was carrying documents to be given to the czar — proof of a plot to depose him and put Napoleon on the throne.

To preserve Alison's reputation from scandal spread by a Mrs. Fairfax-Gunn, he gave out that he and Alison were very much in love and in St. Petersburg to be married. But Alison knew that Buckingham was engaged to her best friend, Lady Pamela Linsey, and could not reconcile her growing feelings for Buckingham with her duty to her friend. This novel is one I read to find out what would happen next. It's plot rather than emotion driven, and there's a lot of plot, what with lords, spies, czars, mistresses, rapists, blackmailed henchmen, fearful wives, kidnappings, fainting heroines fearful of thunder, a dwarf, a silent black servant and a lynx named Khan.

But I was in the mood for a no-brainer, and it's not all confined to drinking tea in London; St. Petersburg in is an interesting setting. I did find the writing style a bit stiff and the central couple's emotions were more told than felt, but Heath is a solid storyteller and it held my interest to the end. This edition published December by Fawcett Coventry 9. Charmian had been staying in London with the Fenshawes, friends of her father. Brownhill, the magistrate, had just brought her the news that her father had committed suicide and she was about to return home with his escort.

Piers could not forget the sight of her white and grief-stricken face. The Fenshawes owned a house called Bell Orchard not far from Piers's home Wychwood Chase, and Piers had gone to school and made the Grand Tour with Harry, the older son, a bluff and hot tempered man; the younger son, Miles, is a London man of fashion and beneath the town polish, a nasty piece of work. Bewildered and grieving, Charmian is induced to go with their stepmother Lady Lavinia to Bell Orchard for her mourning.

Once he has her safely isolated at Bell Orchard, Colonel Fenshawe tells Charmian "the truth" about her father's death -- that he had spent his entire fortune to support the Jacobite cause and that Fenshawe was the go-between for the funds. There is a veiled threat if Charmian ever tells anyone; the Colonel and his sons are Jacobites too. Charmian does not know that the real plan is to wed her to a Fenshawe she is still an heiress through her uncle and keep her from putting two and two together about their activities.

The Fenshawes are not Jacobites out of loyalty to the cause; they're in it for the money, and they're not above smuggling and murder to cash in. Sylvia Thorpe's novels are short, fast reads, plot driven, with lots of action and old fashioned romance. This one is set in , a bit outside our period, but not terribly different from her regencies. By modern tastes, its young heroine is not assertive enough and its hero is not rakish or tortured enough, nor are we in their thoughts very much.

But sometimes I don't want deep character development; I just want a cracking good page turner like this one. Jonathan Hartfield was believed to have married Constance, the daughter of the Duke of Gillane, solely for her money. Jonathan's father had been willing to bet on anything and had lost Caster Priory and brought the family to complete ruin. In actuality, Jonathan had married Constance as much for love, but her infidelities had put an end to that, and they had lived separately, he at the duke's properties and she in London.

At her sister Letty's betrothal ball, Miss Tessa Bellamy had inadvertently overheard a quarrel between the Hartfields and learned that Constance was pregnant by her affair with Sir Richard Cassidy. Because Jonathan wished to spare the Duke and avoid this disgrace for Constance, Tessa kept the secret. When Constance died of an overdose of laudanum, her maid gossiped to the Duke, who became convinced that Jonathan had poisoned her and had him charged with murder.

When things became difficult, Mr. Bellamy hid Jonathan in his house. Tessa found Jonathan and met him secretly at night; they talked and she fell in love with him, but the morning after they had made love, Jonathan was gone.

When Tessa turned up pregnant, she went to him in Newgate and her clergyman cousin Colin married them. Hartfield stood his trial and was acquitted, without having to tell of Constance's disgrace, and he and Tessa took up their married life together.

But the jealousy and spite of Tessa's sister and the ongoing enmity of the Duke of Gillane began to drive a wedge between them that seemed insurmountable. This tale is interesting because it doesn't stop when Jonathan is acquitted; it goes on to follow what happened in the aftermath.

It may be a bit hard to credit Tessa's loyalty to her diva sister Letty, who will go to any lengths to be the center of attention, I also found it difficult to understand how Letty got to be that awful, when her mother seems fairly normal and her father is a very intelligent, kind and perceptive man.

But family is family, I guess, and I found this a solid tale that held my interest to the end. You put the finger on what bothered me about this book, Janice. Usually Hewitt is a reread for me - A Lasting Attachment is on my Comfort Read list - but this story I've only read once and never picked up again.

Not because it's not worthy of a second perusal but because Tessa's Cinderella complex turned me off. If she'd shown less loyalty to her snotty sister, that dame would've created less problems for Tessa herself and everyone else too. Besides, family or no family, catering to nasty people is what I don't hold with. Sir Edward had had no affection for his children, he regarded his daughters as assets to be marketed to the highest bidder; he wanted the money to fund his gambling addiction.

Lady Danville was no help to her children; she had given up long ago and now cared only for her dress allowance. Sir Edward has two lovely twin girls left, Louise and Sylvia, and he has plans for them, but Colchester has supported and protected the girls; when he wed Elizabeth, he made Danville sign a paper saying that the twins should be allowed to marry men of their choice.

Louise has just been married to Timothy Fotheringham and has left on her wedding trip to Paris, and now Sylvia must make a life independent of her twin, with whom she had shared everything. Sylvia is attracted to a young country doctor, Tom Radcliff, but she knows that her father would never permit her to marry someone he couldn't milk for huge marriage settlements.

Sylvia goes to "Aunt" Lavinia for the London season, and Tom follows, hoping to spend more time with her, but strange rumors arise about Sylvia's character; she is said to have been seen several times at a sleazy gambling den, playing piquet for high stakes and dressed to show more skin than any lady should.

If the author had stuck to the themes of loneliness, lack of personal freedom, women as property and the inability to marry where one wished, I would have found this book of some interest, but it seemed to me that every time she got near a dramatic theme, she shied away from it and went for some cliched plot element instead.

For those who must read volume two if they've been hooked into volume one, it may be worth it to have Sylvia's story, but otherwise I cannot recommend it. Audiobook and large text also available. Miss Philadelphia Elaine Carteret lived with her invalid mama in lodgings in Soho above the shop of the Misses Baggott. Her mama, the daughter of Viscount Bollington, had been disinherited and her papa, a Navy captain, had left nothing.

Delphie supported both of them while her mama refused to accept their lack of fortune and lived in a dream world, planning great balls and receptions for their re-entry into society.

Delphie had written to her mother's family for assistance but had been refused and accused of being an imposter. Delphie did have one helpful friend and would-be suitor, a merchant, Mr. Browty, whose daughter was her student. She talked about their situation with him and he suggested she pay a personal visit to Lord Bollington and "beard the old put in his den". Browty lent Delphie his carriage and horses, Miss Jenny Baggott was enlisted to accompany her, and off they went to Chase Place.

When they arrived, they learned that Lord Bollington was very ill, and the principal heir, Mr. It is believed that Lord Bollington is dying, and his dying wish is to see Gareth married to Elaine; it is his way of bringing two branches of the family back together again after the unfortunate duel which made him the heir.

There's a lot of family setup in this novel and I confess I found parts of it difficult to follow, sorting out all the relationships and who did what to whom, when and why; I could have done with a family tree. Browty may be a form of Mr. Chawleigh, but Gareth's poetical brother in law Palgrave, perpetually in the Marshalsea, is surely a Dickensian type. Overall, I thought it was more entertaining than I did when I first read it back in the day, because I know more about how regency England worked now than I did then.

I thought the best bits were the letters, done in period style. I did think the resolution was a bit melodramatic, and I cannot now easily accept heroes who are drunk out of their skulls, but maybe that's just me. Well, you've hit on one of my rereads, Janice. Like you, I had a hard time following all the ins and outs the first time, which is why this book is worth a second or tenth reread. I'm not fond of drunks but this was an one off for the hero; it would've been different if he was a drunkard and not just a guy that took a glass too many once in a blue moon.

I cut him some slack for that and as he's otherwise a nice guy, I allow him to be a flawed human. I particularly recommend this author to readers who want a bit of story to set their teeth into and not just a bit of sexy fluff. She started her career as a librarian but, as her sister Jane Aiken Hodge, gave it up to concentrate on being a full time author.

She's better know for her childrens stories yet her romances are well worth seeking out. She died January 4, , at the age of For more information on Joan Aiken, see for instance her obituary in The Guardian.

The Sommers sisters, Sarah and Margaret, had been invited by their maternal grandmother, Lady Alverley, to come to her in London and make their come-outs.

Sarah is the elder at nineteen, petite and sensible; Margaret is two years younger, full of energy and excitement. Their mother had died not long after Margaret was out of leading strings and they lived in the country with their absent-minded scholar father. Lady Alverley had never forgiven her daughter for the scandal caused by her elopement with a nobody when a brilliant marriage had been expected of her.

En route to London in bitter winter weather, their coach broke an axle. Luckily Lord Gilbert Eustace came along and conveyed them to an inn where they hired a chaise the next day to finish their journey. Lord Eustace was much taken with Margaret and became one of her first beaux as the sisters did the Season under their strict grandmother's aegis. Margaret's lively charm reminded Eustace of Miss Vivian Leander, to whom he had been betrothed when she died in an accident. Lady Alverley hoped for a match between Eustace and Margaret, but Sarah didn't; Margaret did not seem interested in Eustace as a husband, but Sarah was.

This is an odd sort of novel; nothing much happens in it and there is no real villain. The girls hit the shops and attend endless entertainments; Lady Alverley schemes and bullies when necessary; various beaux make their offers and are refused. It's not until Chapter Seventeen that any sort of plot appears. I did appreciate the author's depiction of the way fear of public scandal ruled Lady Alverley's life and how ruthless she could be in scheming to avoid it.

The endless social rounds were worth slogging through for her alone. When Miss Mallory Tolgarth's father died, almost all his property went for debt, leaving his wife and two daughters insufficient income to live on, so Mallory, who had been well liked during her Season and had received but declined two very eligible offers, went for a governess.

Her mother's wide acquaintance secured her a good position with the Holloways, but when they decided to go to the continent, Mallory did not follow; she did not want to leave her mother and her sister Caro.

Her next employer was Mr. He had been much away from Linbury straightening out his own family's affairs after the death of his father. When Mallory arrived, she found that the girls, who were identical twins, had been left in the care of servants who loved them but were not in a position to control their behavior.

The girls had been let run wild and did not want a governess; they had driven off several previous ones. Mallory's first task was to gain their trust so that she could begin to show them what two lovely sixteen year olds would need to know to go on in society. Civilizing the girls wasn't easy, but Mallory was making progress until Charles threw a spanner in the works by returning to Linbury with his betrothed in tow, the beautiful, spoiled and spiteful Miss Letitia Coverly, who would not permit anyone to spoil the picture she wished to present.

There's nothing much new about it; the characters are rather thin and it lacks her usual humor. It feels like a trial piece. It has a sequel, Sophia and Augusta, in which the twins pull the old switcheroo, which is a bit more interesting. It is readable but not one of her best. I have it, I've read it, I don't remember a thing about it - even after reading Janice' review - except it wasn't awful.

It may well be because it's an early book and the author was still feeling her way. Her later books are much better. As for this one, 'not particularly memorable' pretty much sums it up. When she was eighteen, Lady Mary Sophronia Drayton, daughter of the Duke of Chattam, fell in love with handsome and charming Sir Marius Wadman, and became betrothed to him. For the next four years Sir Marius was contentedly established in Jamaica, where he owns a plantation with six hundred slaves to operate it he believes that despite Mr.

Wilberforce's efforts, slavery will never be abolished. Lady Molly has written to him faithfully, once a week. He wrote once in a while. Molly's father has tasked her with planning a country house party at Seekings Castle over Christmas. Juliana would like to have amateur theatricals, so Molly gets the best of the best: Molly doesn't realize it, but Juliana intends to play the lead, with Sir Marius as her co-star, on and off stage.

Among the house party guests is Mr. Oliver Brougham Kit , who startles Molly at their first meeting by telling her that one day he will marry her. Kit is nephew and heir to the Earl of Annesley, a strict Methodist who disapproves of private theatricals, so Kit is keeping a secret of his own.

This is a very short pages , cleverly written comedy in which Lady Molly grows up a bit and learns that people are not always what they seem, or what she would wish them to be, but the world goes on anyway. It has some Easter eggs in it for us regency buffs; gossipy Mr.

Creevey is a guest at the house party, and Mrs. Rawdon Crawley attends an evening party in London, where her shocking relationship with Lord Steyne is a topic of conversation. I particularly enjoyed the history of the Dukes of Chattam with which the book begins, though I had to hit Google to translate the Horace quotes in the exchange between Elizabeth I and the duke of her era.

Sarah is enthusiastic and excitable, while Melly is more the managing sort. Sarah sent Melly an invitation to stay at Carsdale Abbey in Yorkshire; Melly was reluctant to leave her father and her disabled mother at first, but they wanted her to make the visit.

As soon as she arrived at Carsdale Abbey, Melly realized there was a great deal that Sarah hadn't told her about her brother Adrian. For one thing, he had lost his right arm at Waterloo, and had withdrawn into bitterness and isolation, refusing to try to learn to cope left-handed. For another, Sarah was in love with Martin Wingate, whom Adrian considered an unsuitable match for an earl's wealthy sister; although Martin was well born, he had no money.

Melly determined to go on one of her "crusades" — she would bring Adrian back to the world, and while she was at it, she would help her friend Sarah get the husband she wanted. This short novel is a pleasant tale of likeable characters. It seemed to me that most of the opportunities for depth and drama were overlooked; Adrian's despair at losing his ability to paint and his worry that without his arm he was only "half a man" seemed rather skimmed over to me.

Melly is cheery company but whether someone in his situation can be jollied out of a deep depression so quickly seems doubtful to me. But I did enjoy the cameo by Mr. Turner, who had been Adrian's artistic mentor, and the rest of the read was pleasant enough.

Miss Portia Euston Tia is the little-valued daughter of a self-important, self-centered Shakespeare scholar. Her father is working on his magnum opus; money is short because he spends much of it to buy the books he deems essential to his great work. The house is shabby because he has snabbled all the best things left to furnish his study to his utmost comfort.

Tia is expected to stay home, run his house and look after her brothers, but when she learns not only that her father thinks frail Freddie is a nuisance and intends to send him to sea as soon as he's old enough, but that he won't buy army-mad Antony a commission either, she's had enough.

The wealthy Duke of Castleton Marc thinks all women are mercenary and untrustworthy because he believes his father and brother were led to their deaths by faithless women. But Marc needs an heir, so he offers Tia a marriage of convenience; he stipulates that he may have outside interests, but she may not. Love will play no part in their relationship. Marc's first surprise about Tia's character comes when he asks what she would like as a betrothal gift, and Tia says to have her little brother Freddie live with them.

Marc agrees but asks again, can he not buy her something? Tia says she wants a pair of colors for her brother Antony. They are married and the honeymoon goes well; Tia falls in love with Marc, and Marc seems to be softening his attitude toward her and women in general. But villainy is afoot; Marc has two enemies and one of them is planning mischief and is likely responsible for the setup in which his beloved brother Paul died. Marc does not explain the situation to Tia; her aunt Lady Mobry and his own observations tell him that Tia can't keep a secret — her every thought and feeling is written on her face.

But Marc has underestimated Tia's tenacity. There's nothing new about this book, and this hero's rationale for not being frank with his wife and thus putting her at risk — a la Worth in Regency Buck is not very convincing. However it is well plotted, smoothly written, and has a few little surprises to it. It's not a memorable book, but it was an agreeable way to pass an hour. Marigold, called Mally, had been married to Daniel St. Aubrey for eight years, until his death from wounds received at the Battle of Vimiero.

It has been two years and Mally is now betrothed to Sir Christopher Carlyon, who is keen to set a date for the wedding, but Mally cannot quite get Daniel out of her mind. When Mally returns from an evening party with Chris, she learns that her mother, who is of a nervous temperament, has left her home in Llangwyn and come to London. Berrisford is very frightened due to a robbery and murder which the town has blamed on a black servant of Richard Varrender, the new owner of Castell Melyn.

Worse, Mally's sister Maria has gone missing, and Maria's carefully arranged betrothal to Thomas Clevely is in jeopardy if his formidable mama finds out, since Maria has been seeing horrors! Mally hires an investigator to trace Maria, but the trail goes cold. Mally accepts an invitation from Richard to stay at Castell Melyn, together with Chris and her determined rival, Lady Annabel Murchison. As the search for Maria develops, a cross rivalry develops as well — Chris wants Mally, Annabel wants Chris, Richard wants Mally, and Mally isn't sure what she wants anymore.

There's a lot of plot to this one, and that held my interest more than anything else. Although there are three romances involved, the personalities are so different that it wasn't hard to keep it all straight. There are a few gothic touches; the locals believe in the ghost of Lady Jacquetta while the enlightened city dwellers think that's rubbish. Sandra Heath is particularly good at a sense of place; her countryside folk aren't vague, they are specifically of their locale, and they don't think or act like city folk of that era.

I wouldn't rate this one as one of Heath's more "romantic" romances, but it was a good story that kept me turning pages into the night. Lady Congreve believed Verena's stunning beauty quite like her mama in her youth and sweet nature not shared by her mama were guaranteed to snag a highborn lord; she would not permit Verena's strong attachment to Mr.

David Melchant, the second son of a neighboring family, to affect her plans for social glory. The Earl of Lorrigan had fallen for Verena in London, but before making her the offer that would have thrilled her mama, he thought it proper to speak to her father first. One morning while out riding, Helena called Nelly , the middle sister, met this gentleman as he inquired for directions to Pleasantries.

Nelly was not thought of any importance by her mama, because, although she was pretty, she was not the beauty Verena was, and she was much more interested in estate matters and the concerns of her friends in the neighborhood than she was in casting out lures. Nelly preferred to spend time with her father, who valued her as a companion and right hand.

Shortly thereafter Lady Congreve and Verena returned from London, ostensibly for a rest from Verena's scintillating season, and three other suitors descended upon Pleasantries as well. Nelly became very much occupied in arranging household matters, smoothing things over, aiding her friends, supporting her sister and evading her mother's demands — so much so that Nelly didn't notice that if Lorrigan was truly pursuing her sister, he was going about it very oddly, by spending so much time with her instead.

The Harlem Repertory Theatre brings back its "bold new expressionistic interpretation" of the modern musical classic by "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, with a cast of 20 filling four performance areas and getting up-close-and-personal with the audience.

EastVille Comedy Club, at it's new home in Brooklyn, prides itself on featuring the funniest and most experienced comics in the biz for a sure-fire night of laughs.

The seat retro club regularly h Janeane Garofalo, Judah Friedlander, Jim Gaffigan and Todd Barry are among the top comics who've recently played the EastVille, and up-and-comers often share the bill, so you can see the comedy stars of tomorrow, too.

When it comes to celebrating the beauty of nature in painting, the name that immediately springs to mind is Georgia O'Keeffe. From her desert vistas to her close-up, sensuous abstractions of flowers, From her desert vistas to her close-up, sensuous abstractions of flowers, The Mother of American Modernism's work realigns the viewer's perception to recognize the wonder of the natural world all around us.

So it makes sense that the Hawaiian Pineapple Company now Dole would hire O'Keeffe to paint the island paradise in order to make mouths water for their pineapples. Now you can enjoy the little-known paintings from this trip complemented with lush Hawaiian flora in the The New York Botanical Garden's Conservatory. Come immerse yourself in beauty.

Corner of Hester and Essex St https: Saturday in Industry City Sunday in Dumbo http: Kaufman Astoria Studios at 36th St http: Penn Plaza, W 32nd St and 7th Ave https: Reichenbach Hall, 5 West 37th St between 5th and 6th Ave https: Bronx Zoo, Southern Blvd http: On the High Line at Gansevoort St https: Metropolitan Pavilion, West 18th St between 6th and 7th Ave https: Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place https: The Highline Loft, West 26th St http: Pier 84, 44th St and West Side Hwy http: East of Broadway from thth St.

Lexington Ave between 42nd St and 57th St. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 2 https: Second Ave between 54th and 44th St http: Greenwich Avenue between Sixth Ave and W. Nicholas Avenue between th St and th St https: Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village http: The Well, Meserole St, Brooklyn https: Crescent Ave, Bronx https: Third Ave between 42nd St and 51st St. Brooklyn Bridge Park, 11 Water St http: Morris Park Ave to Rhinelander Ave same as last year??

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Hotel Pennsylvania, 7th Ave at 33rd St http: Marriott Marquis Hotel, Broadway and 45th St http: Magnet Theater, W. Grand Concourse to Walton Ave, Bronx. Sixth Ave between 42nd St and 56th St. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6 Lawns http: Columbia and Sigourney St, Brooklyn http: Industry City, 36th St, Brooklyn https: West Side of Broadway between 86th and 96th St.

Ditmars and 31st St, Astoria, Queens https: Riverside Park, West 80th St https: Moore and West Side Hwy, Tribeca https: The Waterfront, 11th Ave between 27th and 28th St http: Venues Around NYC https: The Tunnel, 11th Ave http: AMC 25, 42nd St same as last year?? The Mercantile Annex 37, W. East Yard of St. Main Street, Roosevelt Island https: Surf Avenue, Brooklyn https: Prospect Park, Brooklyn https: Simpson St between E. Albee Square, corner of Fulton and Bond, Brooklyn http: Myrtle Ave and Washington Park, Brooklyn http: Central Park West at 79th St http: Stage 48, West 48th St between 11th and 12th Ave https: Bryant Park, 42nd St between 5th and 6th Ave https: Joralemon St to Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn.

Convenes at Java St, Brooklyn http: Greenwich Street and N. Harlem Meer, East side from th to th St http: American Airlines Theater, W. Bloomingdale Park, Staten Island https: Sixth Ave from Spring St to 16th St http: Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave between 37th and 38th St http: Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St http: Village East Cinema, 2nd Ave and 12th St http: Sanders Studio, Waverly Ave, Brooklyn https: Staten Island Mall, Richmond Ave https: Metropolitan Pavilion, W 18th St between 6th and 7th Ave https: The Tunnel, 11th Ave between 11th and 12th Ave https: Connollys Club 45, W.

Brooklyn Museum, Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn http: Bohemian National Hall, E. Foley Square, Worth St http: Fifth Ave from 23rd St to 52nd St http: Wild Project, E. Knockdown Center, Flushing Ave, Maspeth, https: Bowery Hotel, Bowery and E.

Industry City, 37th St, Brooklyn https: Wave Hill, West th St, Bronx https: Fifth Ave and 4th St, Brooklyn http: The Cinepolis, W. Blackwell Plaza, Roosevelt Island https: Custom House, One Bowling Green https:

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