Friday, January 9, 2009

A Place For Alfreda by Elizabeth Chater

A Place For Alfreda by Elizabeth Chater
Regency Romance
4 stars
186 pages

Read For:

  • RYOB Challenge
  • A to Z Challenge
  • New Author Challenge
  • Chick Porn Challenge
  • Winter 08 Challenge

My Amazon Review:
Accurate, enchanting vintage Regency......,
January 9, 2009

She went from rags to riches in the blink of an eye. Alfreda never felt like she belonged, but when she discovers that she was switched at birth and is the rightful heir to an Earl's estate she is flabbergasted. Nobody ever expected this mousy, plain girl to be of noble blood, especially Mark Savage. Mark has always infuriated Alfreda with his ceaseless mocking, but now she sees a spark of love deep within his eyes.

But the aristocracy isn't all it's cracked up to be, someone isn't pleased with Alfreda's new position and they will do anything to ensure her demise. Can Mark's love and Alfreda's unstoppable will save her?

My Review:
This author is a prime example of why I love the old Regency Romances. Miss Chater, who was also one of the original writers of Science Fiction (Lee Chaytor),also had a popular Regency career in her 70's. Miss Chater, who was also an English professor, obviously studied Regency England thoroughly. I've never seen another of the tradition Regency romances (besides the genre greats) that's so chock filled of Cant,or slang of the era, as well as lifestyle and convention.

The author's impressive vocabulary was delightful-a delicious break from the sometimes monosyllabic monotony of several "modern" Regency writers who shall remain nameless:). Miss Chater's writing is like Belgium Chocolate after weeks of Hershey bars-a gourmet's dream come true.

The story brought to mind Harriet Smith of Emma, "a girl of unknown parentage". Alfreda was raised by a spinster in the country, just like Harriet. But unlike Harriet, the townsfolk believe that Alfreda is a by-blow, an illegitimate child of nobility. Surprisingly, she is exactly the opposite-she is the legitimate child, but since she is a female, she's hidden away and her father's son with his mistress is put in his place.

What follows is a charming, fun and fast paced Regency tale full of delightful secondary characters. The romance is traditional-no love scenes, just a few kisses and the requisite sexual tension.

The end storyline goes a bit wonky, hence 4 stars, but A place for Alfreda is a Regency Romance I'd still highly recommend to fellow fans of Austen, Heyer, Chesney, and Balogh.
4 stars.

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