"Theresa Romain is definitely an author to watch."-RT Book Review
Wooing the Wrong Woman...
Henry Middlebrook is back from fighting Napoleon, ready to re-enter London society where he left it. Wounded and battle weary, he decides that the right wife is all he needs. Selecting the most desirable lady in the ton, Henry turns to her best friend and companion to help him with his suit...
Is a Terrible Mistake...
Young and beautiful, war widow Frances Whittier is no stranger to social intrigue. She finds Henry Middlebrook courageous and manly, unlike the foppish aristocrats she is used to, and is inspired to exercise her considerable wit on his behalf. But she may be too clever for her own good, and Frances discovers that she has set in motion a complicated train of events that's only going to break her own heart...
Praise for Season for Temptation:
"Brilliant, passionate historical romance that will capture your heart."-My Book Addiction Reviews, 4 stars
"Utterly adorable...both passionate and just plain fun."-Courtney Milan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
Romain's latest Regency romance is a slow, unimaginative tale about quietly suffering characters. Widowed Frances Whittier is companion to her cousin, Caroline Graves, the countess of Stratton, who has recently come out of mourning for her husband and is now the most sought after woman in high society. Handsome, disabled war veteran Henry Middlebrook is one of many seeking Caroline's hand. When Frances writes a sympathetic letter to Henry that he thinks came from Caroline, Henry begs Frances's assistance with a reply. Sympathetic to his desperation, she keeps him in the dark. Though Henry is enchanted by his growing epistolary relationship with Caroline, seeing her as his social salvation, it is patient Frances who understands him. Henry anticlimactically realizes that Frances makes him happy, but when he suspects that Frances is ashamed of his disability, he embarks on a life-threatening duel to redeem his honor. The story is flat and suspenseless, appropriate to two uninteresting characters resigned to being forever alone.
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A second son and a countess' companion...
Well, they don't walk into a bar, but enter into an arrangement to help the Earl's brother, an injured veteran from the aftermath of the battle at Quatre-Bras, a prelude to the battle at Waterloo, get an edge in attempting to woo her mistress and cousin, a highly sought-after widow.
Henry, said veteran, was a dab hand with a paint brush before he went to war, before Napoleon was sent to Elba. He returned from Quatre-Bras with a useless and numb right arm. His return to the ton is not felicitous: he's anxious about the reactions to his injury, aware that most social dances are not possible for him.
Writing and painting, not to mention eating in company, dressing and undressing, have to be learnt all over again.', with his left, or single, arm. Ironic that he lost the use of his right arm at "four arms". It's much like a post-stroke hemiplegic has to learn with the non-dominant arm/side. My sister's writing was almost better than before the stroke, leading us to wonder if she'd been a switched lefty all along.
Frances was cast off by her family when she married beneath her. Turned out her major attraction from her suitor was her dowry, which turned out to depend on her parents' approval of her choice. So no dowry and darned little income saw her husband take the King's shilling, only to die of Walcheren fever before a chance to fight. Cast off and widowed, her life gets progressively worse until her widowed cousin takes her into her household.
Because of his painter's eyes and mind, there is a lot of color words in this novel, and I really enjoyed it. Many of the materials artists used to make paint in that era were fairly toxic. My belle-mère is a watercolour artist, and some of the modern materials for making paint (or dyes) are also toxic.
I think Ms. Romain has met few Old Garden Roses. The stem of a Damask rose/Rosa damascena is in no way waxy at any season, unless it's under the heavily-bethorned stretches of stem. Moss roses are even worse!
Of course Henry and Frances have secrets they hide, and those have to be dealt with before a courtship will progress.
I really enjoyed this story, and hope you will, too.