Sunday, April 15, 2012
Review: A Lady's Point of View by Jacqueline Diamond (4 stars, traditional)
Full Description: Amazon
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thoughts After Reading:
I was in the mood for something old-school for my latest read, so I went in search of a traditional regency. And, as far as traditionals go, Jacqueline Diamond's A Lady's Point of View was a great book to choose. It did an excellent job of demonstrating the elements I love about older regency romances, namely: interesting and entertaining storylines, protagonists (especially heroines) I can admire, and less passionate/dramatic displays of admiration and companionship leading to love. The narration in A Lady's Point of View was particularly fun, and I really enjoyed the majority of the novel. The deduction of a star in the novel's rating has to the do with the final quarter or so of the book. The final conflicts weren't bad by any means, but I felt the plethora of hurt feelings, pigheadedness of the heroes, and sudden resolutions took away from my enjoyment and satisfaction at the HEA.
There are actually two heroines (and heroes) in Diamond's A Lady's Point of View, with the plot switching between the stories of two sisters. Both sisters are good-natured, sensible, beautiful, and love each other dearly. The old sister, a young woman of nineteen years, is a clever and no-nonsense kind of person while the younger sister is bit more impetuous. The older sister has trouble dealing with the ton because of her eyesight. Her mother has convinced her to keep her poor eyesight a secret, rather than wear glasses, and it appears to be sound reasoning - it seems the ton would snub the daughter for having bad eyes at such a young age. When the older sister accidentally cuts Beau Brummell, she removes herself from the scandal by going to visit relatives in the country. By a series of events that are almost comical, she ends up being mistaken as the governess for a lord. The older heroine decides to stay, both because the lord's nephew and niece need someone to take care of them in a competent manner (they have teased the last governesses into leaving) and because she's enjoys the company of the children and lord. The lord has a bit of a tragic/tortured past, but as he spends time with the primary heroine they both tumble down that familiar path of love. Their first conflict is one where the hero is basically already engaged, and I was quite satisfied at how that one was resolved. The second conflict was the one that dealt with misunderstandings and hurt feelings, and - while it helped drag out the book - it left me with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.
The secondary romance plot revolves around the younger sister, and uses the familiar storyline of characters initially disliking each other - due to misconceptions - but still falling in love as they discover each other's true nature. When the secondary hero first meets the younger sister, he initially groups her with the rest of the milk-and-water misses. It is rather enjoyable to watch him be confused by his growing admiration of the girl, both in her physical beauty and spunk. There are a number of cute situations for both romance plots, such as the primary hero coming up with a solution of trying to marry off the older sister and then getting extremely jealous. Or, when the secondary hero comes to the younger sister's defense multiple times (reluctantly, in his mind). The final conflict for this secondary romance mirrored the misunderstandings and unhappiness of the primary romance, and it was therefore similarly disheartening.
So here's what I would say about Jacqueline Diamond's A Lady's Point of View. While the final section of the book was disappointing, it was still an overall good read. Most of the story left me inwardly grinning, and it fit very well into what I would expect from an above average traditional regency. I will save the book as one to reread at a later point in time, and probably will give more of Diamond's books a try at some point. Hopefully the next one I read will have a more satisfactory final resolution.