Monday, 15 February 2021

Fire Opals - Janet Louise Roberts

Fire Opals: Passions blaze in this classic Regency romance (Rebecca Danton Regency Romances)Fire Opals: Passions blaze in this classic Regency romance by Janet Louise Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that when I started this book, I was a little wary. This book is (very slightly) older than me. Sometimes, when I've read romance books that are a little bit older, I've struggled a little. Just because they have become so dated. Of course, when you are dealing with a novel that's set in the past, it is already in some ways 'dated' so that doesn't always matter.
I quickly got pulled into Fire Opals and really enjoyed the way that the story unfolded. It's marketed as a Regency Romance, but to me I would have thought it later, perhaps victorian. There is a lot about the mills and the conditions that the children are working in. Although I think that weaving and spinning mills were around in the Regency period, much of it was fairly new technology. I'm sure that it's mentioned that in the case of our hero, the mill has been in the family for a couple of generations at least. Our heroine's father has also worked his way up from working as a child to owning his own mills in Leeds. It just all screams Victorian to me, not regency.
The romance itself is very much in the style of Georgette Hayer. We have the brooding and sarcastic (but ultimately misunderstood and very much in love with our heroine) hero. Our heroine is trying to fight for her freedom, falling in love with the hero but thinking that he hates her.
I loved the story. I couldn't help but read on and find out how Charlotte and Darcy would work out their differences. Although Darcy is distant from Charlotte, he's not a monster. The first night they have sex was a little uncomfortable, as she is clearly not fully willing, but I think in the context of the period and the situation it was actually handled quite well.
There were a couple of things that did stand out to me, although not full of Americanisms it was quite clear that the book is written by someone who is not British and having checked she was American. It's not anything major, just little things that someone living in the UK would know. (Types of trees, slightly odd turns of phrase, that kind of thing.) Also, rather oddly, the mill is based in the Cotswolds, but the children from the mill have Scottish accents. Why, how did they get there, where did they come from (other than Scotland obviously) it makes no sense, but never mind.
I really enjoyed this romance. It has a feel of Hayer, but with a very little bit more of the romance and physical side of things than she would show, although less than we might be used to today. I would certainly be keen to read another historical romance from this author.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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