Friday, August 28, 2015

Lord Fenton's Folly by Josi S. Kilpack

Shadow Mountain Publishing has a line of books called Proper Romance. They are clean romantic reads without sex, violence, and bad language. I've read quite a few Proper Romances and find the line a welcome addition to the world of romance novels.

The newest is Lord Fenton's Folly by Josi S. Kilpack, which has a gorgeous cover. I really enjoyed A Heart Revealed, Kilpack's previous Proper Romance, which concerned a woman during the Regency period suffering from profound hair loss (and which the Galesburg Public Library has in the adult Fiction section).

Lord Fenton's Folly also addresses an issue of the times - what to do with a child with mental impairment - but it's a minor sideplot this time around. Lord Fenton does not respect his father and tried to embarrass him by playing the foppish fool and adopting macaroni fashion. His father, fed up with the behavior, lays down some ultimatums that Fenton must agree to or be disinherited. One of the conditions is that Fenton must marry. On his mother's advice, he proposed to Alice, a young woman he knew as a child. She has had a crush on him for ten years and thinks he feels the same. She is angered and hurt when she finds out otherwise.

They marry all the same, and the novel watches them deal with personal crises, learn family secrets, and gradually come to rely on and love each other.

I did not enjoy Lord Fenton's Folly quite as much as A Heart Revealed. It was very slow moving, and I would have liked more character development during the long period in which the young married couple was estranged. Lord Fenton in his foppish persona annoyed me as much as he annoyed his father. There are frequent references to witty banter, and yet there isn't much witty banter in the dialog. I was definitely ready for the "falling in love" stage of the marriage before it finally happened.

Still, I am happy to have this category of romance to recommend to readers who want a clean love story, to lovers of Regency romances, and to Jane Austen fans. I read a digital copy of Lord Fenton's Folly. It will be published on October 6 and will be available in the new adult Fiction section of the Galesburg Public Library.

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