Give me a good Regency romance with a feisty heroine and a dashing hero and I am filled with bliss. Having fallen in love with Georgette Heyer in my teens this period of history has always fascinated me and I love books set in this time so when I received a copy of The Kydd Inheritance I knew I was in for a treat.
Jan Jones is a good friend of mine but she knows full well, as I hope do all Random readers, that I would not say I enjoyed her book if I did not and her latest, The Kydd Inheritance, was a real curl up on sofa on grey afternoon read. This is a prequel to Fair Deception which I reviewed here, and tells the story of Nell Kydd immured in the country with her widowed mother following the tragic death of her father in a riding accident and at the mercy of her Uncle Jasper who has taken over the running of the estate in the absence of the new heir, Nell's brother Kit who has gone missing on his way home from India.
You know immediately that the uncle is up to no good as anybody rejoicing in the name of Jasper has to be a villain (my apologies if there are any delightful Jaspers out there who read this), but it is not just his name but his bad tempers, his ill treatment of his niece and the contempt in which he holds the old family retainers who he is getting rid of one by one, that alert us to his machinations.
There is nothing Nell can do except hope that her brother will soon arrive and kick out the usurper but as the months go by this looks increasingly unlikely. And then an old school friend of Kit, Hugo Derringer, turns up unexpectedly who seems to be showing an unusual interest in the estate and what is going on there. Nell is hugely attracted to him but at the same time feels he is harbouring a secret and is not to be trusted.
Difficult to say any more without giving away the plot because though one can guess at the ending and the knowledge that Nell and Hugo will fall in love, we do not reach this point without lots of adventures on the way, not the least tracking down the contents of Kydd Court being sold by Uncle Jasper, being held up by highwaymen and then Nell in danger of being burned alive.
As a strong willed woman I should get cross when the heroine melts into the arms of the hero, but I don't. I just sigh and think oh wouldn't it be wonderful to meet a man like that, who would take care of you and treat you so gently and lovingly and as if you were a piece of precious china....then reality kicks in and I know it would irritate the hell out of me after a while. But just for a moment...
"The feelings Hugo had engendered when he had caught her as she slid from Snowflake's saddle were beyond her power to describe. They had taken her completely by surprise. No one had the right to be so strong and yet so delicate of touch. No one had any right to laugh so softly in her ear and call her a poor, brave girl in such bone melting tones. And no one, no one at all, had the right to cradle her against their immensely comforting chest as if she were the most precious thing in the world"
See what I mean?
Great stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed this and already looking forward to the next. I LOVE romantic novels.