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Entertaining, but leave credibilty at the door
am 19. Mai 2000
This is a fun read, and I really did like both Lucien and Alexandra; Rose and Robert were interesting as secondary characters, as well. Enoch gives us some intriguing insights into both Lucien and Alexandra's thought processes as this romance plays out. There are some very amusing scenes, and much of the dialogue between Lucien and Alexandra is highly witty. Lots of good sexual tension early on, too!
But - and I know I'm going to get lots of 'not helpful' votes for this - Enoch hasn't done her period research properly, and that partly spoils the book for me. I prefer my Regencies not to have inaccuracies which jump out at me, wrenching me from the story. For instance, once Lucien gives Alexandra the job (at some time after 12 noon), he lends her his carriage to collect her belongings, and says he will see her at dinner that evening. She then goes to Derbyshire and back... in an afternoon! Even now, with a fast car and if relatively little traffic could be guaranteed, it would take three to four hours to get from central London to Derbyshire, one way only. The later journeys to Hertforshire and back sounded similarly fantastical.
Some of the 'feel' of the period was wrong to me; although I enjoyed the explanation of delaying tactics for young ladies stuck for dinner table conversation, otherwise the Society scenes just didn't seem to have the accuracy of a Balogh or an Oliver.
I found Fiona, Rose's mother, to be completely beyond all credulity, and her marital ambitions for Rose, revealed later in the book, made no sense whatsoever given her characterisation and behaviour earlier. The character was a caricature, and spoilt the book for me.
I also thought Alexandra was far too ready to give Lucien what he wanted - more than once - and without either regretting her behaviour or worrying about the consequences. For a well-born young woman of that period, this is unbelievable. He was the one who brought up the possible consequences, and it was an element of the story Enoch left hanging. In fact, the story was unfinished in more ways than one: she built up some big mystery about Lucien's cousin James, about whom he felt some sort of guilt, and about whom Alexandra tried to get him to talk on several occasions. Yet we were never told what that was all about. (If she's planning on explaining it in a sequel, she could have said so! There is no explanation anywhere about the 'With This Ring' series).
Finally, though with some suspension of disbelief I was able to enjoy Lucien's method of stopping Alexandra leaving, but there was always a voice in the back of my mind saying 'this is *ridiculous*!'