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REVIEW: Noblesse Oblige by Lynne Connolly

Dear. Mrs. Connolly,

Noblesse ObligeI’ve been a Richard and Rose series fan for years now. I’m looking forward to seeing poor Richard suffer while Rose is in labor and I’m really looking forward to poor Rose ending her 2 year pregnancy. So, in the meantime, I thought I’d try Noblesse Oblige and see how you write regency era books. The answer would be exactly like you write the Richard and Rose series. Well, pretty darn close. And I mean *exactly* and not in a good way.

When I started NO, I began to get glimmers of unease. They only increased as the book progressed. If you hadn’t written it yourself, I would have thought someone had lifted whole plot elements from your RR series and inserted them into a different (very slightly different) setting.

Let’s see, heroine of a lower class than hero? Yes. Heroine not beautiful and not expecting to ever get a marriage proposal? Yes, as well. Heroine who plays the piano beautifully and hero who loves to listen to her? Again, yes. Opposition by outsiders to marriage of hero and heroine? Indeed. Seemingly instant love? Well, in RR it was love at first sight and in NO the heroine loves the hero while he at first seems more reticent in his feelings but then suddenly he’s in love with her without you ever really explaining the turnabout in feelings. Heroine resisted by society and/or servants? Well, pretty much. Rose had her inlaws to win over and society gawking in amazement while Marianne has to contend with servants dissing her as well as some family members. Evil presence up to no good? Got that in both books as well as both sets of h/h running around trying to find said evil character and put a stop to things.

Can you see why I began to think I was watching a summer rerun? I will, as I said, read your next RR series book but please, don’t feed me a hashed version of that series and expect me to be happy with it. Oh, and who the hell is that woman in a strapless dress who is looming over the castle in the cover? C- for you.

~Jayne

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

12 Comments

  1. Jane
    May 12, 2006 @ 07:56:13

    That cover is frightening. When I first saw the cover I thought that maybe I seeing something – like an easter egg – ala the penises in The Little Mermaid movie, but alas no. Is it the Bell Witch?

  2. Jayne
    May 12, 2006 @ 08:01:50

    I have no idea who that person is supposed to be. Certainly not the heroine as why would a Regency woman be wearing a strapless dress? And it’s not Connolly herself. I’m just baffled by it.

  3. Jane
    May 12, 2006 @ 08:04:24

    She looks like some demented prom girl gone wrong. Horrible and frightening. Maybe Maili will want to use this as a template for her next horror cover.

  4. AngieW
    May 12, 2006 @ 09:43:51

    Lynne Connolly’s Richard and Rose series are some of the first ebooks I ever read. I’m not a huge historical fan but I really like those books and recommend them frequently. It’s been waaaay too long between books.

    Have either of you ever read her paranormals? I’ve always been curious about how those are.

  5. Jane
    May 12, 2006 @ 10:04:59

    I read one a long time ago when she first put it out there. Not good. Keep hoping for another R and R book.

  6. Jayne
    May 12, 2006 @ 11:32:13

    She has a paranormal historical I’d like to try. That is if I can gird myself up to tackle Triskelion again.

  7. Lynne Connolly
    Jun 04, 2006 @ 15:20:22

    Interesting!
    And interesting that I never noticed!
    I wrote “Noblesse Oblige” as my “Rebecca” book. And no one has noticed that at all. The proud, rich man with the dead first wife who died under mysterious circumstances, and the plain, overlooked second wife with an inferiority complex. Only I gave my second wife a bit more backbone.

    Richard and Rose, on the other hand, are all mine own, taken from a scene I dreamed once (the first scene, when they arrive at Hareton Manor). I just wanted to give Richard a set-down. So I gave him a countrified tomboy to love.

    My heroines in my historicals are often socially inferior to the hero – because they often were. Certainly they couldn’t expect to inherit a title, or be ‘independent’ as we think of it today. Vanessa is not socially inferior to Chris, but her mother is a Mrs. Bennett, throwing her daughters in the way of marriageable men. In “Season of Storms,” Phoebe is a widow, with a title of her own. In “Wicked Intentions,” the heroine is not a frequenter of London social scenes, but is of equal social status.
    So I do try to vary it a bit.

    The paranormals are mainly contemporary set, and the h/h more equal in status, education and wealth. I’m concentrating on those for the present, since they’re taking off like a rocket, and they’re a lot of fun to write. But I haven’t abandoned the historical. Mundania is reissuing Richard and Rose, and I’ve written 2 more books for that series, and planning a couple more.
    Glad to know they’re remembered and still enjoyed!

  8. Jayne
    Jun 04, 2006 @ 19:30:04

    Mundania is reissuing Richard and Rose, and I’ve written 2 more books for that series, and planning a couple more.
    Glad to know they’re remembered and still enjoyed!

    Oh yes. I’m looking forward to the next one. But I had thought that Champagne was reissuing them. Did I hear this incorrectly? Is Mundania a print or ebook publisher? Or both? Do you have a publishing date for us? All I’ve heard is “this fall.” Or Autumn as they say in England. ;)

  9. Jayne
    Jun 04, 2006 @ 19:40:20

    Well, I just looked for Mundania and found the website. And the publishing schedule. Aaaaahhhhh!!!!!! You mean we have to wait another year for the next RR book?!? July 2007 at the earliest? Lynne, I’m going into withdrawal here. I think I need chocolate to sooth my nerves. Yes, lots of chocolate.

  10. Lynne Connolly
    Jun 05, 2006 @ 07:56:39

    It’s a shame. They were scheduled for this year, but one of the co-owners at Mundania, and my editor, Dan, has had health problems. Health problems like triple heart bypass surgery. He’s recovering now, but I really don’t want to disturb his recovery by insisting that Richard and Rose come out early!
    Mundania is a print and e-book company, which is why I was pleased they took the books.

    However, I do have a brand new Georgian trilogy coming out next year. The Secrets trilogy is about three male friends, and the background theme is the social revolutions that were happening at the time. So the first heroine is trying to scientifically breed chickens, the second’s hero is an amateur astrologer, and the heroine of the third book owns a factory. I hope that will help to make up a bit. The first one comes out next February.
    And I have a one-off Georgian, Wicked Intentions, over at Triskelion. A girl on the run from her abusive father (who is a baron, so reasonably socially connected) who takes shelter in a brothel. A bit on the steamy side, so you might prefer to wait for Richard and Rose!

  11. Jayne
    Jun 05, 2006 @ 08:04:13

    Is the social revolutions series also at Mundania? Or somehere else?

    Yes, I can see why you wouldn’t want to rush someone through bypass recovery. I’ll just have to revisit RR through the first four books.

    Oh, you are writing about Gervase? Did I hear that properly?

  12. Lynne Connolly
    Jun 05, 2006 @ 08:25:56

    The social revolutions one, and Wicked Intentions, are with Triskelion.
    As for the ordering processes being problematic, these seem to occur with AOL people and with people running Norton, which seems to cause multiple problems. The Triskelion site is highly encrypted, to protect the buyer and the books. People with AOL may have to run through the process twice, as their browsers sometimes stall on them. Norton users need to disable the thing before buying.
    What can I say? I dumped Norton in favour of AVG a long time ago. Customer service at Triskelion is excellent (at least I found it so before I joined as a writer – I never send anything to a publisher without trying them out first).

    And yes, Gervase will find closure in a future Richard and Rose book.

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