Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Courteous Cad & Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart

Today I got up at 5:15 am, rode a bus for two and a half hours to Wisconsin Rapids, sat in the bleachers for five and a half hours and then rode on the bus (unheated!) back home. It was all worth it because Molly's cheerleading team took first place at regionals! Now they are on to state on Feb. 13th. At least there, we get to sit in real chairs rather than on bleachers!!

The announcement of the girls getting first place, took us all so much by surprise (not that we don't believe in our girls, but last year they didn't score well), we all cried. It was a terrific day for the team, and one more day where I am so proud to be Molly's mom. Can you see the tears in both of our eyes in this picture?

The Courteous Cad by Catherine Palmer is the third book in the Miss Pickworth series taking place in Regency England. Prudence Watson is the toast of the ton with her golden curls and rosy cheeks, but while traveling in Yorkshire, she is struck by the plight of mill workers and feels the need to improve their working conditions. But when she meets the mill owner, William Sherbourne, she is forced to reconsider her quest. This historical romance never quite clicked for me. The story is mostly dialogue, and while Palmer tries to imitate Austen's quick wit and clever conversations, I was more frustrated by Prudence and William's insistence on always thinking the worst of each other and never telling the truth. I didn't understand what they saw in each other, because he was consistently telling her and everyone else that he was a cad, and she was forever telling him that she was silly. I enjoyed the historical portion of the story with Prudence's work in the mill and her relationship with her sisters was amusing as well.

To read the first chapter of this book, check out my post from yesterday.

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Patillo is a fascinating look at an old treasure. Claire Prescott has never been enthralled with Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy the way her sister is, but when the sister is too ill to attend an important seminar about Pride and Prejudice at Oxford University, Claire fills in. She could use some romance in her life, especially after the loss of her job and her boyfriend's minimal acknowledging of her leaving the country. A handsome classmate fits the bill perfectly and soon sweeps her off her feet, but then she is caught up in a confusing whirlwind of Austen's lost papers, conspiracy, and deception. Patillo takes the Pride and Prejudice and turns it on its ear through the various papers presented throughout as studies of the famous novel, as well as her own remarkably well done version of Austen's writing. This story is a completely unexpected surprise in that the narrative never goes where the reader anticipates, making it an enjoyable ride. The author does a superb job of making Austen's work come alive through the eyes of Claire as she closely examines the work in relation to her own life, causing deep introspection. I was thoroughly entertained and hope that Patillo writes more in this vein.

Thank you to Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists for providing me with a copy of this book for review!