Saturday, July 26, 2008

His Shadowed Heart (Regency Romance Review Number 2)

Sometimes I find myself in the mood for the lighter side of romance and keeping in tune with Georgette Heyer, I would recommend author, Hazel Statham who writes for Wings ePress books. Her latest novel, His Shadowed Heart is another regency about a marriage of convenience, but this one has a hero who is a bit tortured, and the woman he ends up marrying is much younger than himself. Their marriage is mainly to benefit his young daughter. Why have a governess when you can have a lovely lady as your wife instead?

Richard Moreton, Earl of Waverly can hardly stand his meddling sister, Victoria. She wants him to remarry for his three year old daughter, Julia, so she can have a mother in her life. And since Richard is thirty-four, he is not getting any younger. Richard rather do without marriage since he already has a mistress to keep him happy. Also, Richard’s first marriage was not all that fulfilling.

Victoria has a friend named Diana who has a lovely cousin of nineteen staying with her named Caroline. Caroline is sent back and forth to relatives since she has no money or a place to live since her father killed himself because his gambling losses. Richard meets Caroline but since he comes across a bit too stiff and cold for her tastes, she doesn’t give him another thought. But for some reason, Caroline has made an impression on Richard and the next time they meet, he goes out of his way to dance with her and make pleasant conversation. These two start a tentative friendship and out of the blue Richard proposes to Caroline. This would solve the problem of his sister and London society trying to get him married off, as well as Caroline finally belonging somewhere. And really, why would a girl like Caroline refuse? She has no other options and for a dashing older man like Richard to ask her to be his wife is a dream come true.

There may be no love between these two in the beginning, but there is respect and friendship. Caroline doesn’t even mind becoming a mother to Julia and hopes Richard can find some affection in his heart for her. Caroline thinks Richard still loves his dead wife Elizabeth. Actually, Richard’s feelings for his dead wife are not the ones Caroline believes he has. These two try to become comfortable around each other and Richard soon finds himself falling in love with Caroline. But he was hurt once before and doesn’t want to go through the pain again. Plus, his spurned mistress, Christina, is in the background wanting to make him pay and will drop little seeds of doubt and mistrust into Caroline’s mind.

His Shadowed Heart is a charming historical that begins with a marriage between two strangers who end up falling in love with each other, and deeply. Even though Richard has a fifteen year age difference with a girl who is barely out of her teens, that didn’t stop myself from enjoying this romance. Richard may seem a bit gruff and stiff when we are first introduced to him, but Caroline quickly breaks down his defenses. Caroline is a wonderful character full of life and sunshine. There are some subtle love scenes between the two and even with the fade to black love making between this husband and wife, it very much set the sensuality tone of the novel.

If you are a regency romance fan looking for more reads such as this one, definitely check out Hazel Statham and His Shadowed Heart.

3 stars of out of 5 stars

Katiebabs (KB)

**My third and final regency romance review will be the soon to be released Scandalous by Night by Barbara Pierce. Hopefully I will have it posted later tonight and it will be my final review before I go on my merry way to RWA!**

2 comments:

Hazel Statham said...

Thank you for such a lovely review. I really do appreciate it and am pleased that you enjoyed Richard and Caroline's story.

I love to hear from my readers so, if anyone has any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Regards to all,

Hazel

Tracy said...

It really does sound like a charming Regency romance. I'll have to check it out.