If you like Regency romances, read Georgette Heyer. If you have already read all of her novels, read them again. Joanna Maitland’s A Poor Relation, which forms part of The Regency Lords & Ladies Collection, is a poor relation indeed to Miss Heyer’s novels. (Okay, okay, I admit it, that last sentence was a little obvious. I did say it in my best Regency style though).
A Poor Relation is not really as terrible as some Regency stories I have read, and on the plus side, the version I read was Large Print. As I have said before and will no doubt say again, Large Print books are easy and comfortable to read, particularly when I can’t find my glasses. However, although A Poor Relation is not the worst Regency romance I’ve ever read, it was also a long way from being the best.
To sum up, Lord Amburley, (our hero), attempted to rescue a poor, shabby damsel, who appeared to him to be in distress.
On being rescued, Miss Isabella Winstanley, (the shabby damsel and our heroine), advised Lord A in no uncertain terms she was not in distress, and did not require rescuing. Despite annoying each other, Lord A and Miss W could not stop thinking about each other, (didn’t see that coming…)
The next time our hero and heroine met, Miss W appeared to be passing herself off as a lady of fortune, which annoyed Lord A enormously. He decided to catch Miss W out in her masquerade and expose her.
After more misunderstandings than I would have thought possible, all is revealed – for readers who couldn’t figure things out back on page 3. The romance came to the only possible conclusion, a proposal from Lord A and fluttery feelings on the part of Miss W. (I could point out the really obvious here, and say that Miss W’s fluttery feelings are actually lust, but I probably don’t have to. Romance readers already know).
I think it is time I wrote my own romance story.
I’m sick of reading about beautiful 26 year old women, who are always described as being ‘past the first flush of youth’, getting all of the action.
I’ll start my Great Romance story by introducing Our Heroine, a frumpy, tired, (because she is overworked) woman. Reading is the joy of Our Heroine’s life, but she also loves to bake (and eat, hence frumpy). Sometimes when Our Heroine is feeling especially daring she puts on the roller skates she has had since she was a teenager and skates in the driveway, (and inside the house too, but don’t tell Our Hero, he gets cross when I skate inside). For Our Hero we will have a tall, grey haired, (he used to be dark, back when he had hair), good Aussie bloke who is a little bit grumpy, but he likes chicken and hot rods and a television show called Australia’s Stupidest People Do Particularly Stupid Things While Someone Else Videotapes Them So That Other Stupid People Can Watch The Television Show. Then, something will happen in this Great Romance and Our Heroine will mistakenly think something… (at about this point Our Hero is most likely in Big Trouble), then, something else will happen… (now Our Hero will think something of his own and will, no doubt, get it all wrong), and then, something else will happen and so on.
I would go on writing this Great Romance story, but unfortunately I have writer’s block. You should be grateful. Go on, go and read some Georgette Heyer, you’ll like her stories much better than mine.