A Modern or Ton romance?

The Marlow Intrigues Jane Lark

Jane Lark writes soulful romance.

Of course, there’s all the perennial themes for historical fiction.  Yet, I can’t help feeling that her social commentary is more for today’s modern women than a comment on the Regency ton.

In a world where young girls can be Rhiannon or head to Syria as jihadi brides, ultimately we need to think how we help them become independent women who can love a man with their self respect in tact.

To me, this is the author’s point.  If her heroines who had far fewer choices than young women today can come through their trials with not only their self respect but winning the love and respect of their men, then there’s a lesson in there for us all.

Of course you can argue that Ms Lark’s heroines are constantly rescued by their romantic hero.  But what’s attractive is that they aren’t the beautiful damsel looking for the love of her life.  These heroines have complex back stories.  The trend she set with her first heroine being a Courtesan, continues with more women who take a path that normally in a bodice ripper wouldn’t endear them.  Well, Ms Lark makes them endearing.  I especially love that there’s even a pregnant older merry widow!

Yet the writing is simple in the best way.  It’s not that you can’t put the book down – you just don’t want to.  This is romance for romantics.  If the heroines are intriguing, the heroes are more traditional – gorgeous, complex, flawed and quite yummy.

As for the history?  Ms Lark’s research and understanding of the era delivers richly historic stories.  By sticking with the series you’re rewarded with not just a good developing storyline but fab characterisation.

Book 5 – the Secret Love of a Gentleman – is out in July, sadly that’s a bit of a wait.  I have a feeling it might be worth it!


Something about Mary

The Dangerous love of a Rogue Jane Lark

Drew Framlington tells the object of his love that she has the power to make their two halves a whole.  He doesn’t yet realise the challenge she faces in overcoming the objections of her family.  Mary has plenty of steel in her spine but is it enough?

This is a romance that is less about the chase and more about what happens once caught.

The challenges Mary and Drew face would be just as home in today’s world as the Regency ton.  She has a huge boisterous fiercely loyal family – they don’t think he’s good enough, how does he deal with his inlaws?  How does he feel loved when her family are the centre of her world?  Can they create something together?  Who should have your loyalty – your family? your spouse? your friends?

How does a young man who dreams of more make his way with no one to advise and look out for him?  If you don’t have money and someone else does – is it love or gold digging?

Although this is a very romantic story, it takes quite some time to fall for Drew – he’s very hard to like.  You have to stick with him.

The writing does drag being 50+ pages too long.  But as Hollywood said there’s something about Mary – you can’t help hoping for a good outcome.

One of the challenges in this book is that there are many characters all with titles and related to each other – had I know this was part of the Marlow Intrigues I probably wouldn’t have started with this story but the first in the series.

Netgalley gave me a copy in return for an honest review.