Series: Company of Rogues
Author: Jo Beverly
Genre: Regency romance
Pages: 374 (or 363 if you don't count the excerpt from another Beverly title)
Copyright Date: 2002
Cover: Sort of like a wedding cake. A white background with a pink lacy fan and pink metallic print of the title and author, in a florid faux-script style. Above the fan, almost off the page, is the naked back of a blond woman wearing pearls and holding another fan - thankfully, the second fan is not pink. Inside the front cover is the sexier front cover (you know what I'm talking about, right?) where Our Heroine sits with her dress unlaced in front of a mirror, presumably waiting for her maid to bring a robe before she freezes to death.
First Line: "The toad. The slimy, warty toad!"
Best part: Our heroine's determined seduction of her beloved.
Worst part: Lack of description of the process of the heroine's transformation through fashion, which omnia_mutantur compares to the training montage in most martial arts movies.
Recommended for: Fans of the genre, especially those who have read the previous books in the Company of Rogues series.
Poor, poor Lady Anne. She has an appealing face, a titled father, and a handsome dowry. But she was born with a clubfoot and a retiring disposition that makes her ill-suited to the life of the Tonne. She wants nothing more than to spend her life going through old papers. But when her brother marries, she will no longer rule the roost at home. Worse, her autocratic mother is preventing Anne's younger sister from marrying the disabled veteran that she loves until Anne herself marries, ideally to someone of high rank. (Yes, this is where the plot gets a little cliched.) Worst of all, Anne has already been jilted - twice! The Company of Rogues has sent someone to make Anne happy after she was left by one of their number. But it will come as a surprise to - well, all right, no one - what form "making Anne happy" will take.
This was an entertaining read, but the plot was a bit predictable and I didn't fan Anne terribly sympathetic, as you can probably tell from my description above. Also, the Company of Rogues was formed when a group of boys banded together to stop bullies at boarding school. Just like the Fallen Angels in, um, that other Regency romance series. And the ones in The Marriage Spell. Seriously, do guys have ANY other way of meeting each other during this time period?
This book didn't rock my world, but folks who enjoy Regency romance may like it. The matter-of-fact way that Anne copes with being a "cripple" will be pleasing even to modern readers.