|i think i'm running out of GH to read...
||[Jan. 13th, 2011|07:24 pm]
I thoroughly enjoyed The Masqueraders, which is about a brother and sister who cross-dress in order to protect the brother due to his involvement in the failed Jacobite Rising. They've grown up running around Europe with their father, doing disreputable things like running gaming halls and pretending to be all kinds of people. What makes the book work is the sister, Prudence, who plays the young man Peter for most of the book. She's inherently less the actor/adventurer than her brother Robin (aka Kate), who is very much like their stupendous father, and as a man she has to be active and put herself out more. She has to deal with the very respectable Sir Anthony Fanshawe, who takes "Peter" under his wing. Complicating the situation is their father, who shows up claiming to be the long lost brother of a recently deceased Earl. The best things from the book are the father for being awesome and the relationship between Sir Anthony and Prudence. Robin has his own romance and adventures, but they are not nearly as interesting (or sweet) as his sister's.
I love that the father turns out to actually be the long lost brother and heir. After a lifetime of being somewhat of a con-man, he comes back home and takes his rightful place (though he's awesome in that he claims he could've pulled it off even if he had been an imposter, and I wouldn't be surprised if he could've). I love how his long-suffering servant is the final proof of his identity. And how he's able to admit his checkered past and still be accepted by Society.
I loved it when Sir Anthony grabs Prudence's arm as she dumps the wine in her sleeve before asking her to marry him. That was the emotional highlight of the book, for me. XD
I did not care much for Regency Buck. It's about a brother and sister who go to London in defiance of their guardian and live it up. The brother is a target for murder and the sister a target for fortune hunters, but they are protected by their reluctant guardian. It reminded me of other GH works, but it was not nearly as engaging. Plus, all the historical figures dragged the book down for me. I couldn't help but wonder if they were actually like how they were portrayed in the book. The brother was insipid and his romance a bore. The sister was just okay. She compared unfavorably to somewhat similar females (like Frederica or Sophy or even Arabella). Their guardian also reminded me of many GH heroes, particularly Lord Rule from The Convenient Marriage. I thought there was too much telling of how he did what he did, which lowered him in my eyes. Overall, just kinda meh. I now don't really care to read An Infamous Army since the characters from this book are in that one, too. :P
In contrast, I loved Arabella. Arabella is sent by her mother to London to make a good match since she is very beautiful and the family is not that well-off. On the way she runs into a very eligible bachelor who thinks she's a schemer out to get him (like all the other girls). She overhears him. Upset that he should say such things about her, she pretends to be an heiress. The eligible bachelor decides to make her the rage in London by paying attention to her. Her lie also gets out so she's pursued by fortune hunters. Along the way the eligible bachelor realizes she doesn't take any of his attention seriously and decides to make her fall in love with him, but then falls for her for real. The bachelor is kind of a bastard, as he's selfish and mean at times. But what makes him loveable to me is his interaction with a mongrel dog Arabella saves and gets him to adopt. He is so droll, it's hilarious.
The first is when Beaumaris comes back to London after several days away and finds the mongrel has pined after him. His servants crowd around him and try to explain how they tried to get the mongrel to not pine away. As the mongrel runs around him in circles like a mad dog and falls over panting in pure joy. ♥
The second is when Arabella accepts Beaumaris's proposal and suggests they elope: "A virtuous man would undoubtably, at this juncture, disclose that there is not the smallest need for these measures. What very unamusing lives virtuous men must lead!"
Another amusing bit is how Beaumaris turns out to be pretty intellectual, thus able to converse with Arabella's father. Arabella boggling was hilarious!