Dear Ms. Matthews,
With the seeming demise of the printed trad regency, I worried about how I’d get my regency fix. Thank goodness for ebooks and an opportunity to read older treasures.
“Widowed Vanessa Damery had two young children to raise, a deteriorating estate to improve, and a household full of pseudo-relatives and dependents to placate. She did not need the advent of her late husband’s cousin (and her co-trustee in his estate). And if Lord Alvescot expected gratitude for his interference, well, he’d have to look elsewhere!”
I’ve no idea when it was originally published but it’s now available as an ebook at Belgrave.com. I’ve never read a bad book by you and I’ve found that you’re a good author for delivering a charming, quieter style but very period regency. Nothing is too highly exaggerated and I’m left with a good feeling when I finish them. But readers wanting more Sturm und Drang, a feisty heroine, or modern language might need to look elsewhere.
Vanessa is a delightful heroine just trying to improve her son’s estate, raise her children and deal with a pack of relatives who’ve set up housekeeping there. She once asked her co-trustee for help but got no assistance at all from him. James, Lord Alvescot is sure he’ll find the estate of his late cousin in ruins after two years of a woman at the helm and is secretly ashamed not to have been in a better frame of mind to look after things in the horrible aftermath of Waterloo. Each finds someone totally unlike what was expected. James is actually willing to listen to what Vanessa and her estate manager have implemented and admits to being impressed with how well they’ve managed. Vanessa is not a weeping widow or wilting flower but a woman of quiet strength and intelligence. And the children act like children! I enjoyed this one quite a bit and think it’s a solid B grade.