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Beanbag Love

I read. I write. I talk about reading and writing. That is when I'm not driving kids somewhere or teaching them. Married, educated, domesticated. I really enjoy the friends I've met through a variety of different message boards and venues regarding reading and authors. I try to take a positive view when I write reviews but sometimes I can't. Those times are few and far between, but they do exist. I'm mostly an old softy, though. I think so anyway.

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
What a Gentleman Wants - Caroline Linden This was a sweet romance that was exactly what I was looking for: a diverting bargain with no price-fix from the publisher. It takes some work to find these treasures these days, but I'm indignant enough to overcome my inertia on book seeking.

Marcus Reece, Duke of Exeter, is a stuffy guy who likes his peace and quiet. Always pulling his twin brother, David, out of scrapes, he never seems to get a break. Hannah Preston is the widow of the vicar in Middleborough who has the unique opportunity to help nurse David back to health after a carriage accident.

Frankly, the whole basis of the story is a bit unbelievable, but I could get past it because I was engaged enough in the story telling and the characters. David manages to convince Hannah to enter into a "marriage of convenience" with him but signs his twin's name to the registry which causes all kinds of problems. Absurd. But whatever, as long as the interactions work, I can live with it.

Hannah's four-year-old daughter is cute and actually fairly realistic. Throwing little tantrums when she's tired and wearing her mom out while alternately melting everyone's hearts with her little kid utterances. It's nice to see that when most kids in historical romances are not much more than cardboard cutouts with lace hung all over them.

Marcus is hard to like at first, but he starts to gain some sympathy quickly. Hannah is immediately likable and in such a difficult situation it's hard for the reader not to root for her. At first they might not seem like a good match, but their chemistry becomes apparent and it's believable.

I have to point out one scene that really made this book for me. So often I want to bang a book against the wall because the author contrives internal reasoning for the characters NOT to talk to each other in order to continue a rift or misunderstanding. There is a lovely scene where this doesn't happen. It's a simple thing, but it made me so happy to see an author just go ahead and allow a relationship to progress.

Yes, it's Regency fluff. But it's a bargain on Kindle and it's a sweet romance. Friends looking to break up the angst might want to remember Caroline Linden for future stress reduction therapy. :)