Mr. Malcolm's List (英語) ペーパーバック – 2009/2/25
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The Honorable Mr. Malcolm has a secret. This elusive matrimonial prize, long the target of desperate debutantes and their matchmaking mothers, is well known for his fastidiousness. What is not well known is that he has a list of qualifications for his future bride. Can any woman hope to win the heart of such a hardened critic? Selina Dalton can only try her best. And when she begins to succeed, Jeremy Malcolm is not sure whether he has discovered the perfect woman... Or the perfect hoax.
Malcolm and Selina hit it off big time. Things progress right along until Julia expected Selina to cooperate and have Malcolm pay the piper. At that point things go awry with misunderstandings aplenty all culminating at a house party given by Malcolm to meet the lovely Selina's parents and to introduce Selina and her parents to his mother, etc.
At this point, the story became so humorous, I laughed out loud more than once. Blame was cast, pride arose, Julia was sorrowful, Malcolm turned hardhearted, Selina grieved, then Selina got angry. There were some hilarious scenes involving small pools and large pools. I loved this book. Can't wait to order more by this author.
1. a light yet enjoyable novel of manners very close in tone (but not in complexity) to the novels of the late Georgette Heyer (the undisputed queen of this genre), and
2. one without the inclusion of gratuitous sex/sensuality that pervades and cheapens the genre in so many Regency novels today.
Honestly, I had given up on finding an author (apart from Heyer and Clare Darcy), who could communicate the reality that wit, charm, and personality -- and physical attraction expressed more by hint than by description -- are more captivating than the shallow characterizations excused by nothing more than animal attraction (yes and sex) which comprises much of the trash called Regency romance today.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading novels that get a bit "warm" if they are well written -- but I wish there were more writers along the line of Suzanne Allain as she wrote in this novel.
What would have brought this review down to a 4 or 4.5 (in a less grateful moment) would have been a desire to see more depth of characterization and a bit more intricate plotting, but I hope that subsequent writing by this author may show signs of those.
If anyone can give me the names of any other writers that truly approach the style of Heyer or Darcy, please comment to this review and tell me about them. I have been disappointed in some that claimed that distinction, and am becoming disillusioned.
I did wonder if the author would be able to redeem for me an obviously unlikeable character, but in the end I found she was successful. The only real issue I have with the story is that the hero wasn't very upset about his good friend's participation in the scheme that hurt him. I think the author makes a good case for why the hero is so out of proportion angry at the heroine, but wouldn't he also feel some sense of betrayal from his friend's participation?
I suppose it was not a terribly long novel, but it never felt rushed, or cut off.
The impediments to a happily-ever-after go on a bit too long, and the irritating, but not menacing, villainess reforms in a flash.
The book was, however, just what I needed to make it through a morning of waiting for a loved one to have out-patient surgery. It took my mind off my surroundings, but I was never so absorbed that I wouldn't hear the staff call out the number assigned to my patient. I even forgave the spelling and useage errors because the story did not take itself seriously, and neither did I.
As a bit of fluff when a slight diversion is needed, this book will do nicely.