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8 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pseudonym pair, December 7, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Crossed Quills (Zebra Regency Romance) (Mass Market Paperback)
The plot was orignal though it was true to the tradition. Young woman writing political essays under her departed father's false identity and the young lord in need of help with his maiden speech for his former career as a gothic writer made a romantic muddle of his serious speeches. Of this comes a twisting story which has the usual happy ending. This novel followed the regency tradition in shape of characters except for the hero (Lord Selworth) who was a fresh change to the all Mr. Darcys out there. Warm hearted and sensitive but not cynical. The heroine(Pippa Lisle) was on the other hand much related to the heroines of Jane Austen. The political discussion were a spice to the romance and the behaviour of the young lord in the end was really funny. In overall, this book will go down well with Regency fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Regency romance with a political background, December 31, 1999
By 
John Whelan (Ottawa, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossed Quills (Zebra Regency Romance) (Mass Market Paperback)
An interesting book, had some details about Gunters which I wasn't aware, the hero Lord Wynn Selworth is actually a little different, thoughtful, who shares rooms with another very quiet gentleman the Honorable Gilbert Chubb. There is some social commentary but subtly done in a way that doesn't ram it down the reader's throat. Lord Selworth is a Whig after all. Philippa Lisle is the heroine, her father wrote radical articles under the pen name of `Promethesus', his daughter assisted him and on his death continued to write the articles, Lord Selworth needs the expertise of Promethesus for his maiden speech, Pippa's sister needs a season. Philippa's mother suggests, a deal is struck, a romance is played out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant; admirable hero and heroine, March 31, 2005
This review is from: Crossed Quills (Zebra Regency Romance) (Mass Market Paperback)
Wynn Selworth has inherited money and a title. His days as a Gothic Romance writer under the pen name Dred Valentine are over. He no longer needs to earn money from that venture. But while preparing his maiden speech to the House on issues of importance, he finds his flowing and embellished writing style will make him a laughing stock. So he seeks "Prometheus" who writes radical political articles to get some help. But Prometheus is pen name for Phillipa "Pippa" Lisle and she lives in anonymity in the country. When Wynn finds Pippa, she claims a friendship with Prometheus and Mrs. Lisle (Pippa's mother) decides that Prometheus will lend writing support if Lord Selworth aids Pippa and her sister in their introduction to society in London.

Wynn is more than willing, since their come-out in society will be at the same time his younger half-sister is to be introduced by his married sister (Albinia). Since Pippa is Albinia's good friend, they stay at her house in London and Wynn escorts them about. All is going splendidly - there is matchmaking afoot and several romances among the secondary characters. Wynn finds himself drawn to Pippa for her mind and he is falling in love. He does guess that she is Prometheus and shares his own pen name with her, especially since he has one more book that has just been published.

But Wynn's talkative half-sister (younger) stirs up trouble and Pippa is believed to be the Gothic Novelist Dred Valentine. Since these books are rather "bawdy," Pippa and her family are snubbed. Wynn has left town on some business and Pippa tries to find him. She is caught in a compromising position with Wynn's best friend. Will Wynn lose Pippa to his friend Gil? How will the family's good name be restored to the ton? What about the speech to the House of Lords.

You will want to read this pleasant tale to find out the answers. There is plenty of tension without any villains or sinister plots. Thoroughly enjoyable with likable, admirable characters!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful romp!, May 1, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Crossed Quills (Zebra Regency Romance) (Mass Market Paperback)
I thought that this book was simply a delightful read. Predictable? Yes, but fun nonetheless. Mistaken identities and the power of the truth must be revealed before love can conquer all. It is another great novel from Carola Dunn.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very nice political Regency..., May 28, 2002
This review is from: Crossed Quills (Zebra Regency Romance) (Mass Market Paperback)
This book of Carola Dunn is actually rather untypical of her, or so I believe. I came to Carola Dunn via gentler Regencies which had little overt politics. CROSSED QUILLS (what a marvellous name!) is a book that depends strongly on a reader's understanding of the political and social issues behind the glitter of upper-class life.
Plot summary: The heroine Pippa (Philippa) is the daughter of a deceased Radical MP (radicals being those who advocated greater and faster reform measures than the Whigs, although some radicals belonged to the Whig party). Her father was Prometheus, a brilliant orator and speech-writer, whose honesty and refusal to accept bribes in return for supporting the government was well-known. At his death, his work (in print) is continued by his elder daughter.
Enter the hero, a new peer, who has just succeeded to his great-uncle's barony, and has lived a fairly straightened life with his mother, stepfather (a kindly vicar), and eight siblings - one sister and seven half-brothers and half-sisters. To help support this large brood, he has been writing Gothic romances under a pseudonym, which has affected his writing on any topic. [Think melodrama, abductions, mysterious heirs, mad monks, and so forth. Think lush imagery. Think purple prose].
Lord Selworth needs help in crafting his maiden speech, and thinks of Prometheus. Fortunately his sister Albina (Bina), a young society matron, is old friends with Pippa. She provides him an introduction, and Selworth persuades the Lisle family to come to London and stay with Bina, thus solving two sets of problems.
The rest of the story is taken up by the efforts of Pippa to help Wynn Selworth without revealing her identity, the secondary romance between her sister and Wynn's friend, the disastrous effects of the loose tongue of Wynn's half-sister, and the reaction of society to the revelation of Wynn's identity as a writer of Gothics. If Wynn is "outed", will he be taken seriously as a politician, especially a reforming one? Will his maiden speech be successful?
If you read romances regularly, you know that the answer to both these questions is yes, albeit a qualified yes here. When you read the story, it helps to know the background of political and social unrest, the practice of the government of bribing MPs to vote for the government (usually with the promise of a sinecure or a pension), and above all, the extreme fear that ultra-Tories such as those in the Liverpool government had towards the slightest efforts at reform in the post-Waterloo era. The plight of the unemployed returning soldiers and sailors is touched upon lightly, as is the unhappiness of the Luddites and the future Chartists with the status quo socially, economically, and politically. Some minor but historically figures appear briefly or are referred to - William Cobbett, Henry Grey Bennett, Sir Francis Burdett, Henry Brougham, Castlereagh, and so forth.
I liked this book very much, but found that I had to read it rather more slowly than the norm to appreciate the intricacies of certain situations. The story tone is light but occasionally melancholic, reflecting the frustrations of Philippa with her inability to own her identity to Wynn Selworth (forget publicly!). As I said, if you like the politically oriented stories of Anthea Malcolm (and her successor Tracy Grant), you will probably appreciate this story which is a cross between the Grant/Malcolm books and the typical Regency. Not as politically-heavy, but not for the typical romance reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fun, clean Regency, August 5, 2013
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This review is from: Crossed Quills (Kindle Edition)
The idea that two people, gently herded by the author to a romantic end, would secretly be literary adversaries - both popular writers for their opposite genders - is a nice way to develope a period story. It has all the usual Regency manners, yet this world is peopled so well you enjoy living in that world for awhile. It's a great mental vacation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner for Dunn!, April 28, 2013
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This review is from: Crossed Quills (Kindle Edition)
Another excellent regency. There is something so imminently satisfying about one of these older, traditional regencies. I just love them. Nothing can compete with the nonchalant style of writing that is at once refined and poised as well as tongue-in-cheek. The beauty of this novel is the utter lack of cliche or trope. There are no Big Misunderstandings, the hero and heroine are not archetypes, even the secondary characters have form and substance uniquely their own. And it was very realistic. At least in my mind. It was true to the day and the outcome was plausible. A very satisfying read. Very highly recommended for all Regency Romance lovers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Regency romance, April 4, 2012
This review is from: Crossed Quills (Zebra Regency Romance) (Mass Market Paperback)
Carola Dunn writes the excellent Daisy Dalrymple series set in the nineteen twenties but readers may not be aware of her historical novels. This is the first one I've read and I enjoyed it. It is well written and the plot is interesting. Wynn Selworth has just inherited a title and a fortune and wants to launch his political career.

Until Wynn inherited money he has supported himself and his family by writing very successful Gothic novels under the pen name of Valentine Dred. Pippa Lisle writes radical articles under the pen name of Prometheus. What happens when Wynn asks for help from Prometheus in composing his maiden speech makes an entertaining and absorbing tale.

The characters are well drawn and interesting and the plot is well thought out. The dialogue is believable and the background convincing and obviously well researched. If you enjoy Georgette Heyer or M C Beaton's Regency stories then give Carola Dunn a try.
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Crossed Quills (Zebra Regency Romance)
Crossed Quills (Zebra Regency Romance) by Carola Dunn (Mass Market Paperback - October 1, 1998)
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