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REVIEW: Emilina’s Conquest by Lesley Anne McLeod

Dear Mrs McLeod,

emilinas_200Reading your Regency novellas is like snacking on a few petit fours with a smooth cup of coffee. A nice, small treat that hits the spot and leaves me satisfied without pigging out.

Emilina Brook is a young woman of good family who is in a situation all too familiar to the Regency world. She’s the eldest daughter of a vicar of limited means and feels the obligation to go out and take a position as a teacher, thus easing the financial burden on her parents and, if she budgets well, perhaps even able to send some money home.

Her two day stage coach journey to Nottingham starts with her attempting to master her tearful emotions at leaving her family behind. Soon she and her fellow passengers begin to awkwardly pass the time with introductions and aimless chatter.

One young man catches her eye as he pays her pointed attention – not all of which Emilina welcomes. Dr. Secord Cardew alternately interests and appalls Emilina. He can be polite and attentive then stuffed up and arrogant. Who, she wonders, is the real man?

I had a notion of what influenced the behavior of Dr. Cardew which, in the end, proved true. Despite our dreams of meeting a suave, sophisticated man who sweeps us off our feet, most of us have to deal with small talk as we get to know someone. But I think, by the time the story is over, that these two are well on their way to seeing what the other is truly like.

The switch in POV for the last chapter seemed slightly abrupt though having the doctor’s view point earlier would have spoilt the charm of the resolution. And even though the story doesn’t end with a HEA, we are left with a hopeful feeling that all will ultimately end well for our couple. B for this sweet tale.


You can purchase this novella in eform from Uncial Press.

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.


  1. Dana
    May 13, 2009 @ 01:59:08

    Thanks for the review. This looks like a nice, sweet read. I’ve bought several of her ebooks based on your previous reviews, and enjoyed all of them.

    There are so many regency romances out there that it can be hard to find a decent author. I’ve found several authors through DA that I would never have found on my own like Sheri Cobb South, Melinda Hammond, Janet Mullany, and Sheila Simonson.

  2. Jayne
    May 13, 2009 @ 04:09:08

    Dana, I’m glad to hear that my recs, or some of them, have worked well for you. The authors you mention are all great starting points for those interested in finding a more, dare I say, old fashioned style of Regency story.

    A great resource that had slipped my mind until someone mentioned it on Jane’s post about the history of romance novels in the internet is “Good Ton.” They’ve got a wealth of information about older, “trad” books including – sometimes – a rating for the better ones (look under “Tomes of the Ton” then check by author name).

  3. (Jān)
    May 13, 2009 @ 07:14:34

    Sounds like a nice one. I’ve been re-reading a lot of trads, and have been wishing for new authors. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

  4. Dana
    May 13, 2009 @ 08:16:46

    Thank you so much for the link! That’s an awesome website. Just by glancing through the site I found several books I want to read. My poor credit card. :p It sucks that so many of them are oop though. Thank god for UBS.

  5. Suzanne Allain
    May 13, 2009 @ 09:57:33

    I think it’s been mentioned before on this site, but has a lot of good oop traditional regencies, too. A lot of them are on sale on Fictionwise right now. They’re having some kind of 9th anniversary sale.

    Also…Is it spamming if someone asks for a specific genre to mention your book that’s written in that genre? I don’t want to step on any toes, but my latest release is a traditional regency titled “Mr. Malcolm’s List.” Since Jan mentioned she was looking for new authors, I thought I could mention it…Please don’t hate me!

  6. Jayne
    May 13, 2009 @ 12:32:03

    Another great thing about “Good Ton” is they have some books listed by plot. So if you have one you adore, or one you hate, you can check them that way.

  7. Jayne
    May 13, 2009 @ 12:33:52

    Suzanne, I don’t consider it spamming if someone has specifically asked for a certain genre.

    Belgrave House is bringing back a lot of OOP books in ebook form as well.

  8. Lesley-Anne McLeod
    May 13, 2009 @ 16:06:43

    Dear Jayne,

    Thank you for the lovely review. Having my novellas compared to sweet treats like petit fours suits me very well!

    It was interesting and challenging to write about a hero who was not immediately and overwhelmingly attractive, but flawed and all too real. I am sorry the transition to the hero’s POV seemed abrupt, but he had to have his say, and he demanded that he have it right then

    Dana, thank you for being a reader of my Regency romances. If you are looking for other Regency reads, the following page on my website has some suggestions.

    All the best,

  9. Suzanne Allain
    May 13, 2009 @ 19:03:32

    Actually, Jayne, is Belgrave House at a new address. I’m not affiliated with them in any way, just a loyal customer. And thanks for letting me know I didn’t spam anyone. :)

  10. Jayne
    May 14, 2009 @ 09:10:46

    Indeed, you’re entirely correct. I just never remember to think of them as separate. Isn’t regencyreads just the Regency stuff? And the contemps are still at Belgrave House?

  11. Suzanne Allain
    May 14, 2009 @ 09:30:01

    That’s right. I think they do have other historical fiction as well as contemps at Belgrave House, but all the Regencies are at regencyreads.

    Sorry about the “Actually, Jayne” thing. After I posted it I thought it sounded entirely too pompous and know-it-all-ish. (Especially if it morphs in your head to this Dan Akroyd to Jane Curtain voice.)

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