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Reviewed here: A Dangerous Deceit, Reshaping the Past, Summer of the Eagles
This is an excellent read which takes us back to the romance, excitements and pleasures of Regency society. The writer is obviously thoroughly at home in the period’s history and morality and acutely aware of the repressions that contemporary women had to suffer. Her central character, Lydia, shares that awareness and, while remaining polite, circumspect and fully conscious of the role expected of her, shows a refreshing and entertaining independence. Even as we see her holding her tongue and tolerating the insinuations and attentions of the men around her, we know she’s at least their equal.
And the interactions between all the characters are minutely observed by the writer. Their dialogue has real authenticity, they’re all drawn with wit and economy and there’s a constant awareness of body language and surreptitious glances which reveals exchanges other than those being spoken. In fact, there’s so much more going on than the surface reveals (hence the title). The episode where Lord Sheldon rubs salve into a bruise on Lydia’s shoulder is understated, discreet, and very sexy.
In the background and, indeed, influencing the development of the plot, is the figure of Bonaparte and the activities of French and English spies, all of which adds to a tale which captures and transmits the ethos of the period. And there’s even a guest appearance by Lord Byron. Regency romance at its best. Reviewed by Bill Kirton
I so enjoyed Dangerous Deceit with its feisty heroine Lydia Hetherington who is so much more at home on horseback than in the ball room and the handsome hero Lord Marcus Sheldon who unsettles her and sets her hear aflutter.
Romy Gemmell has clearly done meticulous research into the Regency period. Her knowledge never becomes intrusive but creates an authenticity so the reader is taken back to the days when Britain was at war with France, to a time of spies and political intrigue and deceits as well as to the balls and entertainments of the day. The characters are all skillfully drawn but they are not always what they seem and even as Lydia is increasingly drawn to Marcus Sheldon she has concerns about his past and a possible scandal linking him to the lovely Lady Smythe. This is beautifully-written, well-paced story with a deeply satisfying ending. Reviewed by Mary Smith
This is the first Regency romance I have ever read, but Dangerous Deceit has made me eager to read more.The author wears her knowledge of the period lightly but her familiarity with the Regency period gives pace and flavour to the intrigue of the plot.
The heroine,Lydia,is a skilful creation.Though young, she is no goody goody and her escapades make her a sparky character. And what woman could fail feel a flutter of the heart for the handsome Lord Sheldon! An enjoyable read for lovers of Regency,but also for those who like a good yarn well told. Reviewed by Myra Duffy
I hadn’t read a Regency novel since my love affair with Georgette Heyer’s books many years ago, so wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy this after my normal diet of hard-hitting crime. I needn’t have worried. All my love of Regency novels was rekindled by this superb romance. It had everything – headstrong heroine, mysterious hero, despicable villain, spies, intrigue, romance, I could go on and on. Suffice it to say this was a really satisfying read, and I would recommend it. Reviewed by Chris Longmuir
Regency is not my usual genre – but romance is – and Dangerous Deceit, which came highly recommended, was for me a fabulous introduction to Regency Romance. The heroine of the story, Lydia, is strong-minded, a little naive and foolhardy at times, and uninterested in society balls or marriage. Until, of course, she meets the handsome not-what-he first seems Lord Marcus Sheldon. This novel is as proper and well-mannered as Lydia is expected to be – there are no sex scenes – but it transports you back in time to when Britain was at war with France, to a time of adventure and when the threat of danger and deceit abounds, with friends and foes, rouges and dandies, spies and traitors. The sexual tension between Lydia and Lord Sheldon positively crackles from the page. Romy Gemmell knows the Regency period so well, yet portrays the history with the lightest of touches, leaving you as breathless and satisfied as the lovely Lydia is in the end. Highly recommended. Reviewed by Janice Horton
Eight stories to enjoy and warm your heart. Well written and previously published in a variety of women’s magazines, this author knows what she is doing. Each story was different. There were clowns, teenage pregnancies, adoption, chinese vases, chocolate, paintings, and even an old jewellery box. The reader visits art galleries, and antique shops, as well as more ordinary locations, and is spirited away into a world of the author’s making. All in all a satisfying read that leaves the reader feeling good. Reviewed by Chris Longmuir
I loved ‘Summer of the Eagles’ and it’s a book I’m sure I’d have adored as a tween or teen.
I won’t give a summary here, as others have done so in their reviews, but I would just like to say that I particularly liked the character of Karig and the uncertainty over who, exactly, he was. Just the right degree of mystery in what was otherwise a realistic and heartwarming story of a young girl coming to terms with bereavement. Ros Gemmell is clearly an author to watch and I look forward to reading more of her books. Reviewed by Rosalie Warren
Stevie’s life has been turned upside down by a terrible car accident in which she lost both her parents and which left her lame.Her reluctance to spend a summer with her aunt on an island where she knows no one is a great focus for the plot of this exciting tween novel. Readers are engaged from the very start,wanting to know more about the strangers who arrive on the ferry as well as about the mysterious Karig who has apparently some kind of guardian role. Eager to find out exactly what is going on, the reader follows Stevie through her early despair to her final coming to terms with her situation.
The action is well paced, the descriptions of the island vivid and the characters well delineated.Gradually, through Stevie’s adventures on the island, we come to learn the secrets of the eagles.
This is a novel that, once started, is difficult to put down.Although it is aimed at the tween market,it will appeal also to adults as they relive, through Stevie, the uncertainties of early adulthood. An ideal summer read. Reviewed by Myra Duffy.
Summer of the Eagles
Rosemary also appears at the festival in Writers’ Pieces (Aug 25)