The theme: An historical. Nothing could be easier, I still have a massive backlog.
Why this one: I was browsing in my TBR for a new C for the alphabet challenge and this caught my eye.
Camp has written some lovely books, but she’s derivative at times and this was one of the times. There are many Heyer echoes here, primarily from Faro’s Daughter.
Julia wants revenge on the man who drove her brother Selby to suicide, and when her attempts to abduct him fail, she decides to impersonate a woman of the night and seduce him into confessing. This is not quite as dumb a plan as it sounds, since it turns out that Deverel, Lord Stonehaven is composed mainly of honor and libido. But Julia finds him as hard to resist as he finds her, so she changes her game back to abduction, with complicated consequences.
Julia is more likable than you’d think, mitigating the usual stubborn, impetuous redheaded heroine cliches with her intelligence and self-insight. Unfortunately, she got all the personality the book had to spare, and every other character is pretty thin, including Deverel. He’s obviously a decent chap, but virtually all we see from his point of view is his lusting after Julia; all other interesting qualities are imposed upon him, as if they automatically go with the trendy/sexy hero name. I didn’t find the attempts to insert Heyer-style farce very successful, either.
It’s not terrible though, for historical reading of the easy, comfortable sort.