Monday, October 26, 2009

Victoire - Clare Darcy

A Delightfully Impudent Impostor

Sparkling young Victoire Duvernay made her first appearance in Regency England posing as her cousin who had been shamefully wronged by the dashing, devastatingly handsome rake, the Marquis of Tarn. But soon she emerged under her own name as the leading light of the London season, with the hot-blooded, hot-tempered Tarn dancing attendance upon her, and a host of gallants, fortune-hunters, and rogues swarming around her.

Victoire seemed such a defenseless innocent in this sophisticated world of elegant snobbery and cruel deception. But Victoire had no intention of becoming anyone's pawn or prey. Instead this captivating young lady was determined to give the most arrogant gentleman in all the realm an unforgettable lesson in love!

I have been curious about this author ever since Ioanna wrote a review of one of her books. So when I had the opportunity to read one I was quite happy. I did like the book although I felt the type of story asked for more banter, more witty and humorous dialogue to really work out.

Victoire is a french young lady, daughter of an officer in the Napoleon Wars, who, after her father dies and her mother remarries finds herself shipped to England to live with an Irish relative. Unfortunately the relative is not entirely comme i'l faut and leads Victoire to pretend to be her cousin Nancy, recently deceased, so they can blackmail Lord Tarn's relatives by telling he has broken a promise of marriage. The success of such ploy is based on the fact that Tarn is supposed to be out of the country and can't unmask her. But he does unexpectedly return and after a few adventures that include the relative kidnapping Tarn and Victoire saving him, the Marquess of Tarn decides that he owes a debt of gratitude to Victoire and to pay it he offers her marriage.

Now it maybe be because I recently read Heyer's The Convenient Marriage but I did feel that there were some similarities between the two stories - namely the older heroes who let no emotions show and the young and sometimes naive heroines who are constantly getting into trouble.

Being this one a regency romance we know that they are on their way to a happy end, however that path isn't always smooth and in this case several people are interested in breaking them apart. One of Tarn's cousin's and his portuguese mistress who both set different suitors on Victoire just to make trouble. Since Tarn and Victoire both are hot tempered and don't run from a good fight this could have been the perfect opportunity for showing some tension and their emotions towards one another but it is never fully explored. Even when Victoire is kidnapped in the end and Tarn rushes to save her I felt his proposal was a bit bland. I wanted more emotion in their courtship to make me believe that Tarn really had fallen for Victoire. As it was I felt it was a nice story but that it could have been better.

One detail that annoyed me was that Portuguese's mistress had a spanish name and spoke spanish instead of portuguese. Most of you wont probably notice it but for a native portuguese speaker it's totally distracting.

Grade: 3.5/5


The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after October 29, 2009 at 7:22 AM  

I like her 'Regina' better than this one but not by much. Do you know if she still writes? The few copies I read from her I got from my Nan years ago. I'd like to see if her style as changed with the times.
Thanks for sharing.

Ana T. October 31, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

I don't think she is still writing. I couldn't find a webpage for her but her last book was published in the 80s...



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