Today we have the lovely Janet Webb with us. She is a Regency enthusiast and if I ever have questions about the genre, I usually bug her. I asked her if she would be willing to compile her top ten list of Regency novels (in no particular order) and she graciously accepted my challenge. Here, without any further ado, is her list. Enjoy.
Balogh, Mary The Notorious Rake Forget everything you’ve ever known about Regencies. It opens with the heroine begging the hero to *ahem* distract her from a raging thunderstorm. And distract her he does. Mary is a widow, a quiet intellectual with a quiet life. Edmond is in every way her opposite – or is he?
Chase, Loretta Viscount Vagabond. Just delightful. A rake rescues a young lady from the clutches of the bordello and so this merry romp begins. The viscount’s father is very reminiscent of Freddy’s father (Cotillion, Georgette Heyer)
Devon, Marian On the Way to Gretna Green. Here we have an older couple, witty and perhaps a bit cynical, who take off in pursuit of a pair of eloping lovers. Knowing how this book ends does not detract from the pleasure of the journey.
Kelly, Carla With This Ring. Such a poignant Cinderella story: I defy anyone to read it and not get a lump in their throat. The hero rescues the heroine from a cruel situation – she has been escaping to help minister to wounded soldiers and that’s where they meet. Part road trip, part misunderstanding, this unlikely couple faces formidable medical and financial challenges with élan and courage.
Lange, Emma A Certain Reputation. Who does angsty bitterness better than Lange? Mix up pride, darling twin boys, a proud, impoverished widow and a powerful duke and you have an absorbing tale indeed.
Laurens, Stephanie The Reasons for Marriage. Everything you love about Laurens is in this book. Eversleigh is a single-minded duke who has found the one lady for him – but who is unable to tell her why. Lenore, who had never thought of marriage, finds herself crossing swords with a magnificent man: who could forget the scene where she tells him she has doubled her order at Madame Lafarge’s?
Metzger, Barbara The Rake’s Ransom. Metzger is often called LOL funny and this book is a terrific example. Take a tomboy heroine who despises hunting and mix in a bemused earl and you have an unlikely couple that capture your hearts. The machinations of her father and his best friend the squire are very enjoyable.
Simmons, Deborah The Last Rogue. If by chance you wake up in the bed of a virgin, to whom you are not married, you soon will be. And so the charming and dandified Viscount Raleigh finds himself married to a plain Jane. Somewhat of a road trip and a lovely tale.
Wolf, Joan His Lordship’s Mistress. Unlike so many Regencies, she is a real mistress – an actress who desperately needs enough money to buy back the mortgages for her family stud. He’s an earl and a marvelous Wolf hero he makes. Written with a spare, delicate touch, the story of their HEA is very satisfying.Wynn, Patricia A Pair of Rogues. A happy young ducal couple asks two rather odd friends to be godparents to their newborn: he’s rakish and she’s wayward and they feel irritated sparks whenever they’re around each other. Watch irritation turn to interest and then more.