by Jude Morgan
I read this book in JULY, and am still excited to review it! ;-D
There is a specific type of book that I really love–books that are romantic, funny, and light-hearted, without being full of smut and shallow, insipid characters. You would be surprised at how incredibly difficult it can be to find books that fit into that category, especially books published in the last ten years!
So many recent so-called Regency Romances are simply written pornography with a few sentences of linking “plot.” Ugh. And, having been burned before, I approached Indiscretion with some hesitancy. The story is about Caroline Fortune, a young woman who lives with her father (her mother has passed away), a man full of grandiose ideas and schemes that somehow never seem to materialize beyond the point of spending money (which they don’t have) on them. Determined to find a place for his daughter, Captain Fortune makes arrangements for her to become the paid companion of an elderly woman, Mrs. Catling. From there, Caro finds herself entangled with all sorts of people and plots.
While some of Morgan’s plot line has to be covered with Austen-like coincidences (think: My cousin happens to be the clergyman of your aunt!? What are the odds??), it flows well. The characters are very likable (even the not likable ones), and Caroline herself manages to be charming and witty, without being obnoxious. The dialogue is delightful. I literally laughed out loud at multiple points in this story. Morgan actually takes the time to develop the characters you meet, and while they rarely present you with a surprise, they generally manage to give you a smile.
Caroline manages to balance the line between realizing many of the absurdities and inconsistencies of her culture and time, without being too forward or radical (although, towards the end, she does jaunt off to London in a public carriage by herself, something that stretched the line of what she would have actually been able to do at the time without her character being much more severely doubted). A conversation about dancing was one of my favorite exchanges:
“You do not dance, Mr. Milner?”
“I do–once in an evening, twice if in thoroughly madcap mood. What I dance, though, I must talk all the time. Otherwise I begin thinking about dancing, and how absurd it is, and what prize boobies we would look if you took away the music. Well, I suppose it will pass the time: do you want to go through the ghastly motions with me, Miss Fortune?”
“How can I refuse such a charming invitation?”
This is not a book of great depth, or one that will (likely) cause you to ponder your life and have an existential crisis of any kind. However, if you are looking for a fun, light-hearted, humorous, clean read, this is an excellent choice, and one that I highly recommend. 5/5.