The Reluctant Lady, A Traditional Regency Romance (Regency Escapades Book 2) Kindle Edition
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I am a sucker for a romance between friends. Kristen is a prim and proper widow, always living by her virtuosity, never breaking the rules. Brendan is a wild and crazy guy, charming beyond words, living a hedonistic life, but with a heart of gold, generous to a fault, and always loyal to his friends. Kristen resists his tempting suggestion for an affair, but Brendan senses something worthy and soothing in her constancy and her honesty, so they agree to be friends, jokingly resolving to "convert" the other.
The story is "long," not in word count, but in duration. It takes place over almost 5 or 6 years, so at times the author needs to "tell" rather than "show," but Rasley does this very nicely, giving us only the details we need, although quite descriptive. In an unusual twist to the typical romance formula, Kristen tolerates Brendan's many fleeting and temporary romances over the years, which added to the development of the type of solid and unconditional friendship that grew between them.
I sighed, I chuckled, I got a little choked up, and I cheered. I just loved this book. Obviously I clicked with Rasley's style of writing, as she just carried me away with her prose and her delightful characters. They were funny and flawed, sweet and loving.
My only disappointment was with some of the editing- I noticed a reviewer mentioned this over a year ago, and there was acknowledgement of this from the author and an effort to correct. However, some of these typos still exist, and they could be annoying - "eat" for "ear" (an unusual substitution when describing a steamy kiss!) and "law" for "jaw' (he hit his law?). But overall, it didn't irritate me enough to stop reading. More than anything, I thought this fine book deserved better editing.
My main criticism is that so much of the story is told through the characters thoughts -- page after page of them. I longed for some of Georgette Heyer's light dialogue. Either that or have the author do some major trimming in the lengthy prose descriptions of what the characters were seeing, feeling, thinking, wanting, or about to do.
I would also suggest that someone go through the book with a red pencil and correct the spelling, grammatical errors, and words that just don't make sense. At one point the heroine says, "One should always obey the miles". I'm pretty sure she meant "rules", but I had to stop and think about it, and that annoyed me. There are also a few missing periods, missing commas, "isnt" for "isn't", and missing spaces between periods and the beginning of the next sentence. Alicia Rasley is a good writer and I think that these are probably glitches when the manuscript was formatted for Kindle. Nevertheless, they detract from a work that deserves a flawless presentation.
I really enjoyed this book and recommend it highly. I plan on reading the author's other works.
I’d recommend Rasley’s "Royal Renegade" and "Poetic Justice" rather than this one.