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A Cousinly Connexion Paperback – September 1, 1989
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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It's a complicated family, what with second marriages and all, but our hero is legitimate heir and stepson to the surviving widow, who has a passel of children ranging from young adult to small children. The stepmother is the most useless mother one could encounter and after her husband's death becomes even more so.
That's the cue for our heroine, her niece, to come to visit and help out. What a mess of a household she meets up with. Inefficient housekeeping, unruly children, one adolescent spoiled, coddled and wrapped-up-in-bubble-wrap (if such a thing had existed then) because of his blindness, and an indifferent, lazy, self-centered mother.
The hero eventually arrives to this mess, which even includes straitened finances because of his father's careless, spendthrift ways.
So the story is about turning this dysfunctional family into a real family and, along the way, we get a lovely romance.
Sheila Simonson only ever wrote 4 Regency romances; I bought this & The Bar Sinister because I had 2 have them all. Simonson's regencies are well thought out, have charming & lively dialog, & are a delight 2 read & 2 reread. I wish she had written more regencies. A keeper.
This is the story of a family left in turmoil and disarray by the unexpected deaths of a father and his immediate heir, that has left debts, scandals and a rudderless, undisciplined set of siblings to a helpless widow, unequipped and unwilling to deal with life. Enter the unassuming hero, a wounded war veteran with quiet courage and gentle manners and who has no great cause to wish to involve himself overly in their tangled affairs. Watching him rise to the occasion is just a treat - and watching his cousin by marriage watch him do it is even more entertaining.
It is a romance, a very old-fashioned one. But one that is very, very well done. I read this book years ago and enjoyed it as much this time as I did then. It's just so nice to read a really good book. I only regret she didn't write more than the four she did. I recommend them all.
However, the last 1/4 of book was very slow going, and I particularly disliked how hero and heroine (although it was the direct-speaking hero and sharp-tongued heroine that they initially attracted to each other) kept avoid and misunderstood one another; with Aunt Louise always feigned ill-health left bunch unruly, ill-mannered kids with no one to discipline them--all made a frustrating end. A promising beginning, but a deflated finish.
I do have to compliment the book cover, it was a beautifully-drawn picture with good taste, eventhough the scene was nowhere to be found in the book still did not dimmer the shine of it.