Release Date: March 31st, 2011
Rating: 5/5 Stars
This was, in a good way, a little different to how I expected. I haven’t read much Regency Romance, but I do want to read more, and Regency Buck sounded like a good place to start. And I am really glad I did! From this book alone Heyer’s skill is excellent, and it’s hard not to get caught up in the story – the settings, the events, the characters! It all makes for an excellent read.
Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine head to London, keen to enjoy the season there despite their guardian warning them to stay away. They don’t expect to actual face much resistance from the elderly friend of their father, and besides, he must be more likeable than their uncle. But when they arrive in London, they discover there has been a mistake – the Fifth Earl of Worth isn’t an old man, but the insufferable Julian St John Audley. From the moment they meet, Judith pushes against him, taking everything he says and doing the opposite. And as for Perry, well, Perry spends his time trying to be fashionable, being seen at the right places and placing bets with his considerable wealth. But a series of strange events befall him, and it becomes clear these events are not just accidents, but something more sinister.
I loved Judith as a heroine. She’s feisty, yes, and although she strives to adopt an air of not caring what people think of her, she does seem to enjoy the attention she gets for her eccentric activities. She clearly enjoys winding Worth up, as much as he likes teasing her, and although their disagreements arise initially from a dislike of one another, it turns into almost sort of a game between them, one which, when it goes too far, causes distress to them both.
I also loved Worth as a hero. He knows the best way to ensure Judith and Perry keep hold of their fortune and are accepted into society is to, essentially, tell them to do the opposite of what he wants, or to just let them learn their own lessons. He does have a gentle approach to the siblings, pushing only when he needs to, and recognising that sometimes he needs to take a step back. He makes mistakes, and knows this, and is clearly distraught when he feels Judith hates him.
What really surprised me about this was the slight gothic aspect to certain elements, the mystery surrounding the attempts against Perry’s life, and the characterisation of Worth, who definitely feels like he sits somewhere between Rochester and Darcy. Heyer is excellent at casting doubts on his character, while Judith’s cousin attempts to win her over. The cousin feels largely harmless, another man trying to win Judith over, but he has his undercurrent too, and there were moments where I could truly feel Judith’s discomfort.
All that is to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Regency Buck. Here is a novel crafted with complete skill, with witty characters, excellent dialogue, and a truly compelling tale that keeps you engaged right until the end.
Thank you to Cornerstone for providing me a copy of this book via NetGalley. Views remain my own.