I just finished Miss Delacourt Has Her Day by Heidi Ashworth. I should acknowledge at the outset that Heidi is a friend of mine, and she reviewed my book last year for me, and I received an ARC for the purposes of review. I hope it goes without saying, however, that I still wouldn't review or praise a book unless I sincerely enjoyed it. My theatre gig has taught me to always try to be polite and nice, but to never be dishonest in giving feedback.
With that out of the way, I loved this book. I don't know that romance will ever be my favorite genre--the thing I read for fun when I have nothing else to do. But I really enjoyed this book!
To begin with, I should note that this is a Regency romance, and I admired Heidi's research. The world she created felt real and dimensional to me, and she balanced description with moving the plot along in an admirable way. That is difficult to do.
The book was funny. I laughed out loud in several places--something I love doing but that very rarely happens. Heidi's very dry humor sparkles through.
I also enjoyed the plot. It was clever and inventive. Because I don't read a lot of romance, Regency or otherwise, I am not an expert. But my guess is that this plot was far more developed than is typical in the genre, and I'd say that about the characters as well.
Heidi was able to show development in each of her main characters and they had grown and changed by the end of the story. I was especially intrigued by the way the three main characters all were completely different in action and demeanor than they were in the last book--but it was completely credible, because these changes were grounded in the plot.
Miss Delacourt Has Her Day is the sequel, of course to Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind. I enjoyed Miss D I, but I think Miss D II is even better . I'd also note that you can enjoy Miss DII on it's own, but having read Miss DI will help deepen your enjoyment.
One of the things I loved about this book was that the characters were chaste and appropriate, but madly in love. There is nothing in this book to embarrass a reader, but Sir Anthony and Miss Delacourt were clearly passionately in love with each other. Their physical attraction was a part of a larger whole, but it was certainly there, and I'm all for celebrating this beautiful aspect of the marital relationship in appropriate ways. I think it's important for LDS artists and writers to provide an alternative to the salacious tide our culture is swimming in, and Heidi has done a good job with this--blending excitement and passion with propriety.
This is a fun, bright book--and it's also a quick read. I highly recommend it, even if you are not a fan of romances. If you have ever been in love, like dry humor, have enjoyed a Jane Austen movie, or have felt like a social underdog, this book is for you.
P.S. Heidi is sponsoring a wonderful giveaway in connection to the release of this book. Go here for more details.
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