Monday, January 11, 2010

One Week As Lovers

Title: One Week as Lovers
Author: Victoria Dahl
Genre: Regency Romance
My rating (Max 10): 9.3

This is the third in a Regency series by one of my favorite authors, Victoria Dahl. No. I have not read the first two:
To Tempt A Highlander; and A Rake's Guide to Pleasure. However, I do intend to read both these books within the next few weeks.

The title of this book does not do it justice. There are so many facets to the story and its complex characters; a reader might think she was going to get a light and carefree narrative. One Week As Lovers is neither. It is the story of two childhood friends who are separated when they are adolescents and whose lives detour down different paths, finally coalescing as twenty-somethings when word reaches our hero, Nick, that his childhood friend Cynthia has just committed suicide.

Viscount Lancaster, aka Nick Cantry, leaves London, returning to one of his family's country estates to pay his respects to Cynthia's family. What he finds is a stepfather not grieving for his lost stepchild, instead worrying about how he would repay a debt to the notorious and evil lord he owed, a debt he was to have paid by giving his stepdaughter in marriage; and a heroine who has staged her suicide. but is very much alive.

There are several plot lines going at once. Cynthia has found a deceased cousin's journal which tells about buried treasure which she and Nick pursue. Nick worries about having to sell himself into a loveless marriage to achieve enough wealth to save his family. Cynthia and Nick pick up the relationship they once had as children and nurture it into a loving adult relationship, and Nick must figure out a way to save Cynthia from the evil Lord Richmond.

There are many heavy social problems touched on in this novel. It is not a light, airy, and thoughtless romance. It brings up the repercussions of child rape, parental emotional desertion, suicide, loveless marriage and the limited options for the gentry to save themselves from poverty.

There were not as many secondary characters as Ms. Dahl normally spices her novels with, but the few that were there were wonderfully written.

This is a Regency historical novel from a sociological point of view, examining mores and their echoes through a life. I read some reviews of this book and had to wonder if the reviewers actually read it. They called it a light-hearted romance. This story may have had some lighthearted moments, but it was by no means lighthearted. I encourage you to read this novel for its unique narrative and its unusual hero and heroine.

As always... Thanks for stopping by. Make it a great day!

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