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Monday, January 19, 2009

Review - Steeplechase by Blair Bancroft

Title: Steeplechase
Author: Blair Bancroft
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Buy Link: Steeplechase

Rating: You Need to Read

Reviewed by:

If you are looking for a few hours of fun, are a lover of Regency romances and enjoy a rousing laugh or three and don’t mind sitting down with a good book then Steeplechase by Blair Bancroft is the book for you. It is clearly evident by the first few paragraphs that while Harlan Dawny, Richard Ainsworth and Adrian Chumsley might be the best of friends, they are certainly not the best or in this instance the soberest of influences upon each other. This proves to be all too true when Lord Ainsworth suggests that Harlan, also Viscount Davenham should marry his youngest sister Sally as a way of inheriting his Aunt Portia’s fortune which is destined to go to a home for cats if he does not find a suitable wife. They all agree that Sally would be perfect: young, biddable and unlikely to interfere with Harlan’s lifestyle. Rather than sobriety bringing clarity the next morning, our three “wits” convince each other to go forward with their plan. Needless to say, they did not “plan” on Sally.

While she does agree to the wedding, Sally exercises her right to change her mind, and biddable she is not. The hilarity ensues between the newlywed couple from day one as they try to adjust to each other while maintaining a marriage in name only due to Sally’s youth. The chance to set up her own house is an irresistible lure to a young lady in her position, and she leaps at it gleefully, while Harlan is trying his best to avoid the temptation of being in her company overly much as his fondness for her increases.

Ms. Bancroft has a gift for penning witty, often biting repartee between her characters, and this definitely holds her readers attention. The secondary characters are just as developed as Harlan and Sally, supported by a separate subplot that highlights their charm and personality. Her devotion to detail, meticulously illustrating each aspect of her characters from their hair styles, clothing, accents and demeanor helps to set the scene, keeping the reader immersed in Regency England. Steeplechase is a thoroughly enjoyable book, one I recommend!

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