on March 6, 2001
When I told a friend I was in the mood for something sweet [of course she knew I meant a book] she recommended a Regency. As I prefer paranormal books, she suggested an author I had not read; so I gave this book a try. I was not disappointed.
The first thing I have to do is a compliment to the publisher - THEY GOT THE COVER RIGHT! Theo's white wolfhound, Bran-full name Bran the Blessed, Son of Llyr - is pictured on the cover. There are a few cute dog thoughts in this story and Bran is included in the wrath of Bellamy Taynton.
Strange things are happening in the village during the last few months, and Ursula is concerned - particularly about Vira leaving her family to live and work at the Inn recently purchased by Bellamy Taynton. Because Ursula's father has sudden financial difficulties, she is going to have to marry. Lord Carmartin has offered financial settlement if she marries his recently discovered nephew, the Honorable Theodore Maximilian Prince. It would also end the long-time feud between the Elcesters and Carmartins and assure prosperity for the community of Elcester. Many said Lord Carmartin was hard because he never recovered from the disappearnce of his ward Eleanor Rhodes. Bowing to his uncle's wishes as the only way to gain his inheritance, Theo agrees to meet and marry Ursula but insists his friend, Sir Conan Merrydown, join him in his visit to Elcester.
While Theo dreams of red-headed Eleanor, Urslua and Lord Carmartin begin to have visions - of each other. They meet quite by accident when Lord Carmartin sees Urslula free a red-headed albino squirrel caged at the Inn. They are much dismayed to find the identity of their dream mate. As the story unwinds, pieces of the past and present come together for Ursula and Lord Carmartin which at first confuse and then astound them.
When you finish this book you will be assured that it fulfills the romantic need of "happily ever after" for all involved. I enjoyed the weaving of this story and the humor included with romance. There is a bit of point-of-view swapping that you need to look for, but you will appreciate what it gives to the plot.
on February 14, 2001
I've heard of folks who, when they finished a certain book (whatever
they were reading at the time) started right back at the beginning and
read it again. I've always wondered a bit about that, having never
before been tempted to do so. Well, I now understand that compulsion,
having just done this very thing, and I'm pleased to report, I thought
this book was every bit as good the second time around! Not bad,
because the first time I thought it was--quite simply--perfect!
my opinion, it is the task of the author who writes fiction to engage
the reader's attention on page one by that old premise 'what if
--?'. Consequently, I believe the mark of the terrific author is for
the reader, having completed the book, to say, 'it COULD have
happened, just that way. I believe!'
In 99% of her books (at least
those I've read) I find that Sandra Heath completely fulfills this
pledge. BREAKING THE RULES is no exception, with its mixture of Welsh
mythology (she is Welsh, after all), ancient Druid rites, the Roman
settlements in Britain--all combined with perfectly logical events in
the world of Regency England, and well-spiced with her usual humor.
(As an aside, I'd like to mention that during the Regency era and
well into this last century, a popular family entertainment was
reading a book out loud to/with the family in the evenings, usually
after dinner and before bedtime. This book cries for such loving
treatment, especially in the wonderful use of dialect. I found myself
compelled to slow down and actually mouth the words I was reading,
they're so lively and unique. Not everyone does this so well as Sandra
Ursula Elcester is the daughter of a noted
scholar, whose specialty is the Roman occupation of Britain, and in
particular, that occupation of their little corner of
Gloucestershire. Strange things have been happening in their little
village during the last few months, and because of an unwise
investment, her father has betrothed her in a marriage of convenience
to the heir of the largest local land-owner, Lord Carmartin, said heir
being one Theodore Maximilian Prince. This does not set well with
Ursula, who'd much rather stay unmarried, but mindful of her duty to
father and village, she grudgingly agrees.
Theo brings his best
friend Sir Conan Merrydown to Elcester when he comes to make the
acquaintance of his bride-to-be. Accompanying them is Theo's white
wolfhound, Bran the Blessed, Son of Llyr, more commonly referred to as
just Bran. Due to an upset with the horses, the two men (and dog) stay
at the Green Man, where they encounter a mostly white squirrel, the
new inn-keeper Bellamy Taynton, and Vera, daughter of the local
blacksmith, now cook at the inn.
Suffice it to say that many pages
and laughs later, there is a marvelously happy resolution to all the
puzzles, and four very happily married couples.
BREAKING THE RULES
is immensely satisfying, on every level, and should fulfill any
reader's every expectation. I would highly recommend it to anyone who
is looking for an intelligent book--one with romance, history, humor,
and of course, fantasy.
on April 4, 2002
Well, in my humble opinion, Sandra Heath has done it again. This was a very exciting, enjoyable book to read. Combine 3 beautiful women, 3 handsome men, a white wolfhound, and an ancient curse and watch the fun unfold. Poor Ursula is meant to marry Theo, but she fell in love with Conan instead. Poor Theo is in love with Eleanor, who he has only seen in his dreams. Of course, Conan loves Eleanor, but Theo's inheritance rests on his marrying Ursula. Since Conan is a good friend to Theo, he cannot risk his friend's inheritance. Add to that the search for a an Roman villa by Ursula's father, and you have the ingredients for a delightful read. I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys Regency Romances.
on May 3, 2003
Sandra Heath has always been an extremely dependable Regency writer; anytime her name is on the book, the reader is in for a treat. She writes with such apparent ease, blending character development and plot seamlessly with spendid descriptive prose; her novels never lag and are always eminently satisfying.
This time, however, she has outdone even herself, with a captivating tale of fairies and ruins and spirits, not to mention a humorous white wolfhound and other assorted animals.
If you are looking for a delightful read, your search is over. Highly recommended!