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Blair Bancroft: The Lady and the Cit

 

Crescent Blues Book Views Signet (Paperback), ISBN 0451214323

Book: blair bancroft, the lady and the cit
Miss Aurelia Trevor needs a husband. Orphaned before reaching her majority, she lost her beloved Pevensey Park to her greedy uncle. If she doesn't find a husband -- now -- her uncle will force her to marry his reprobate of a son. Luckily for Relia, Thomas Lanning comes into the picture. He wishes to marry her just about as much as she wishes to marry him, but her property will offer him just the advantages he needs to succeed in his quest for a seat in Parliament. Relia and Thomas tally all the reasons they need a marriage of conveniences. But how will they survive the inevitable bumps in the road?

Blair Bancroft weaves the details of life in Regency England beautifully into her novel, and these details help move the story along. Christmas comes soon after Relia and Thomas's wedding. The traditions of gathering the greens and laying the Yule log serve to illustrate the rocky emotional paths the newly weds travel. The intricacies of the British electoral system highlight many absurdities of county living -- while pushing Relia and Thomas closer together.

Relia emerges as a thoroughly believable heroine. Young, passionate and idealistic, she possesses all the pride and naivety of a young woman suddenly thrust into a very adult world. She secures Pevensey Park for herself -- the only thing she ever wanted -- but fears what she had to do to get it. She knows next to nothing of Thomas Lanning. In her dreams of Pevensey Park, it remained the place of her childhood. But she returns a married woman. She most definitely can't remain a young girl. Her journey from willful child to mature woman proves one of the best examples of character development I've seen recently in a romance novel.

Full of spirited minor characters and some truly odious villains, The Lady and the Cit will satisfy fans of Regency romance. Even a rather hasty and not entirely convincing resolution can entirely dampen its charm.

Kathryn Yelinek

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