*Christmas with the minions
*A new baby in TX plus anniversary trip
*Getting ready to go on a pioneer Trek as Ma Murphy
*A wedding in the family in a month
*Writing on three books at once (FUZZY TUESDAYS TASTE SKY BLUE, NO JOY FOR THE DEATHLESS, and some EVERLOST)
*Doing debut stuff for LOVE UNDEFINED, an anthology I'm in
*Figuring out how to hike on a lame knee and dr visits for such
*Planning various things for the BSA
*Running self sufficiency meetings
*Running this loony bin
I'm certain I've forgotten a ton of extremely important things I'm still supposed to do. Like I should be right this very minute going to the doctor to get him to flesh out my physical form that I didn't take the first time...sigh.
But one thing I'm doing is spreading the word about a book I just finished. It just so happens that Wanda Luce's book cover and mine share a model. We're cover sisters.
I took this book on my trip to Texas and it helped greatly to make the miles and miles of nothingness of West TX more bearable. (East Texas I would gladly move to.) In fact, it was difficult putting it down for bouts of baby kissing and playing with the elder henchmen (and women).
So this is the deal:
Wanda Luce has written a book called A DANGEROUS AFFECTION. At first I thought it was going to be one of those fru-fru bodice-rippers with bare bits on the cover. Boy was I wrong! And happily so. Much more meaty and less cotton candy flossy.
Anne Fitzroy is the daughter of a British Earl and the ambassador to the Austrian court. Nefarious men work a plot in which the ambassador is framed with a spurious grant of bribe money, supposedly to betray the Austrian troops and British spies to the French. When the ambassador discovers the plot, he is assassinated and his daughter, Anne is implicated in the plot as the person most likely to have hidden the plot to save her father. Unless she uncovers the secret plans and casts light on her father's detractors, she could hang or be transported to Australia, or killed by those who wish to save their traitorous hides.
Anne and her sister become the targets of some vicious gossip with the threat of more stringent measures. Anne fears she will face, at the very least, the unkind gossip of the English Ton. She has given up on ever finding a husband, not only because of the blot on her character, but because she's considered a bluestocking and perhaps somewhat of a hoyden. I kind of like how she has the guts to work on her own mystery and brave the odds to discover the truth. She doesn't simply sit around letting men do all the work.
One of her greatest detractors, the Earl of de Rothesay (Nic) has already painted Anne with the name of traitor before they even met. He is convinced she covered for her father's treachery, which resulted in his brother's possible beheading at the hands of the French.
He comes to believe that Anne, at least, has been framed and is being stalked by a murderer who wishes to silence her forever to keep her from exposing the plot to betray Austria to the French. Can Anne enlist this handsome man instead, to clear her father's name?
This book, while it had a few little grains of sand, really intrigued me. For one thing, it was well written. Ms. Luce knows her stuff in relation to the speech, dress, habits, problems of the day, and happenings of the Regency era, enough so as to put the reader directly into Anne's shoes without bogging us down with verbosity.
There are a couple of times where I would have had the characters discuss something earlier, or show more difficulty coming up with the answer to the riddle. It would have been good to flesh out the Villains a bit better, but I felt these things didn't detract from the story. I was so pleasantly pleased that Ms. Luce set some of the action in Austria because so often Regency books never leave the ballrooms and sitting rooms of England. I enjoy a different venue. I like my heroines to actually do something and be loved for something other than their great beauty or flirting prowess. Go Brains!
In this suspenseful tale full of intrigue and romance, Anne has the guts to go out and do her own sleuthing, regardless of the considerable danger to her and her sister. In spite of the abuse she endures at the hands of those who want her family's money and to ruin her father, she pushes on to clear the family name. She convinces one of her greatest detractors that not only is she being truthful, but her father is as well.
I give this book two thumbs and an elbow up
You can buy this book here or here.
And now to get over to the dang Dr before he leaves for the day...sigh. And buy some leather strings among other things. But first...get dressed and eat something.