Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review - A Gentleman's Daughter: Her Folly by Reina M. Williams


Felicity Wilcox, disguised as a young man, flees Naples aboard a vessel returning to her native England. A man from her past, Captain Hugh Mountbank, recognizes Felicity, but plays along with her ruse—until the two must dispose of a murdered man and journey together to her family’s home.

Amid the seeming gaiety of visits and house parties, Felicity and Hugh attempt to keep their family and friends safe, as they also work to uncover the truth about each other. Soon, they not only must protect their loved ones, but also their hearts from the growing feelings between them. When danger comes to call, can Felicity and Hugh trust each other, or will their game of subterfuge and intrigue be their final folly?

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A Gentleman's Daughter: Her Folly is a short, sweet Regency-style novella by Reina M. Williams.  It is the second in her Gentleman’s Daughter series.  The main focus of the story is Felicity Wilcox, cousin of Cecilia Wilcox, who was featured in the previous volume, Her Choice. Felicity is very much an independent woman, preferring a life of travel and freedom.  She is not the type who feels the need to look for a husband.  Overhearing a murderous plot that could put her family in danger, she rushes home to England from Italy in an attempt to foil the plans of a dastardly villain.  Along the way she must deal with meddling relatives and friends, and she struggles with romantic feelings for a man she doesn’t entirely trust.

Her Folly was a pleasant read, but there were many times when I had trouble connecting to the story.  For such a short novel, the cast list was extensive, and sometimes it was a challenge to distinguish between the many members of the Wilcox family and their associates.  The key players could have been fleshed out just a bit more to deepen my understanding of them.  There were also numerous references to plot points and ideas from the previous book, which was reasonable, but as a new initiate to this series, I frequently felt disconnected from the story.

Those concerns aside, I do feel that I can give the Gentleman’s Daughter series my endorsement. Ms. Williams’ writing is very good overall, and I love the fact that she kept her romantic content very clean.  The topics, language and issues were very true to the period, and readers of Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer would probably enjoy this work very much.  I myself would like to go back and read Her Choice, to fill out my understanding of the Gentleman’s Daughter world in full. If the series continues on to a Book 3, I would seek that one out as well.

I do not have a daughter in my life, but if I did, I would feel more than comfortable in letting her read from the Gentleman’s Daughter books in her young teen years.  Reina Williams’ writing is mature, but it never crosses over into the frequently-seen inappropriate content that is often found in Regency romance novels today.  Her Folly was a sweet, pleasant read, and one I can recommend to anyone who enjoys this genre.


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