Tag: bramwell

The Independent Heiress by Elizabeth Bramwell (2019)

Posted April 11, 2023 by Mary Kingswood in Review / 0 Comments

I read one of Elizabeth Bramwell’s books quite a while ago, and enjoyed it, so I don’t quite know why it’s taken me so long to read another but there we are. This was recommended to me as being a light read, and so it is, and very enjoyable too.

Here’s the premise: Lydia Meadows has no desire to marry, and have her husband take everything she owns. Instead, as her father’s sole heir, she’s going to help him manage his various business interests, and perhaps develop a few businesses of her own, too. Her father recognises her talent and encourages her in that direction. And since she’s far taller than the average woman, she’s unlikely to find a husband anyway.

But then Lord Standish intrudes into her orderly existence by falling from his horse during a hunt. Lydia helps to rescue him, and this throws the two together. For his part, William has no intention of marrying, either. Some day, maybe, because as the only son it’s his duty, but surely not yet? But as they gradually learn more about each other and begin, perhaps grudgingly to develop some respect for each other, they realise that they are as alike as chalk and cheese. She is practical and competent to her core, but with a brisk, businesslike manner that may be successful in making deals but doesn’t work socially, while he is the easy-going social animal, who couldn’t organise his way out of a paper bag. And when he tries to prove his ability to manage his own affairs, everything goes horribly wrong. In some ways, they are ideally suited, but are they too unalike to make a match of it?

Well, we know the answer, of course, but watching them reach that point themselves is a delight. I liked the way William learnt to use his injured leg to his own advantage, when it suited him, and I thoroughly enjoyed his inventive ways of dealing with unwanted attentions from young ladies eager to be led to the altar. But along the way, he also learns what it’s like to be confined to the wallflower benches, and discovers that even wallflowers have strong and interesting personalities. It’s not uncommon to see a wallflower become the heroine of a Regency, but it’s unusual to see the plight of them as a group in this way. An interesting insight into Regency life.

The author brings the romance to fruition with a sure hand. I loved that William is attracted to his goddess, and charmingly calls her Artemis, almost from the start, and never wavers in that. I do like a hero who listens to his heart and understands what love is, instead of having it creep up on him as a huge surprise in the final chapter. There are some oddities of language – lived experience? Learning curve? But otherwise nothing horrible tripped me up, and this was a good four stars.


Review: ‘The Dashing Widow’ by Elizabeth Bramwell

Posted October 5, 2017 by Mary Kingswood in Review / 0 Comments

You don’t read much about widows in Regency romances, with the focus very much on the unmarried ingenue or her slightly older independent-minded sister, so this book is a refreshing change. Abigail Merriweather is thoroughly disapproved of by London’s high society, since she has the temerity to be a widow who doesn’t know her place, and is always getting into scrapes. Worse, her money comes from trade, courtesy of her conveniently deceased husband. And when her friend helps to introduce Abby to London ways, the most disapproving of all is the friend’s brother, the Earl of Gloucester.

This is a charming and well-written story that had me chuckling. It’s rare to find anyone who can emulate the lightness of touch and romantic tangles of Georgette Heyer, but this author can. There were a few Heyer-esque phrases that didn’t ring quite true – ‘up to the snuff’ and ‘outside of the enough’, which should be ‘up to snuff’ and ‘outside of enough’. But otherwise, I noticed few mistakes.

It’s fairly frivolous and lighthearted, and it’s also very short (and stopped at 88% on my Kindle, the remainder filled with samples of the author’s other books), but if you’re looking for a quick and amusing read in the style of Georgette Heyer, this is one to try. Four stars.