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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dangerous engagement indeed!



                

I found it difficult to relate to Felicity Mayson for all her heroic efforts.
I know, a merchant's daughter with a smallish dowry, who is railroaded into an engagement when she finds herself at a little known aunt's house party, can be pretty heady stuff. The man Felicity finds herself engaged to is Oliver Ratley, a wealthy young gentleman that Felicity's aunt, Lady Blackstone, has taken under her wing. Mr. Ratley seems quite taken with Felicity. His attention is almost to the point of strange. He definitely doesn't know quite how to behave properly, as Felicity reflects on when he squeezes her hand when they are introduced. That's just not right but then Felicity was trying to make allowances for him.
I still don't quite know why a woman of Felicity's supposed strong views acquiesced to the engagement, but I can understand her dilemma. This blip in Felicity's character was really out of place for the person I'd first thought she was.
The fact that it was mostly men at the house party and that treason and sedition is on the menu does give the story an extra dash of interest.
And yes, I know the aunt, Lady Blackstone turns out to be a pretty lose screw. So what do you do if you're a politely brought up regency young woman? Well eventually Felicity tried to get out word for help, but it turned out that could have been a very dangerous move.
Things became more dangerous and less lonely with the appearance of Government agent Philip McDowell as a house guest incognito. Felicity and Philip endeavour to to uncover the treacherous plots being set in motion.
There is adventure, intrigue and romance, however the characters just didn't jell for me. At times I found the prose somewhat stilted, affecting the natural flow of the story. 

A NetGalley ARC

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