Sunday, December 26, 2010

Random Romance Sunday: Peter Piper Picked A Peck Of Pickled Peppers

The Book: Miss Ware's Refusal by Marjorie Farrell

The Particulars:  Traditional Regency, Signet, 1990, Out of Print

The Blurb

Lovely Miss Judith Ware was proud. Too proud to feel sorry for herself when her family's loss of fortune forced her to earn a living. And too proud to accept the marriage proposal of the handsome, wealthy Simon Ballance, Duke of Sutton, who offered her everything but love.

The duke was just as proud. Too proud to expose his grievous war wound to society's scorn. And too proud to open his heart to any woman's painful pity.

With pride so powerful, could passion and love ever prove stronger...?
Is It In Wendy's TBR?:  No.  I came to the genre after the big trad hey-day, and I just never gravitated towards them. 

Any Reviews?:  1990, so not really.  That said, this is actually one instance where there are some informative customer reviews over at Amazon.  I encourage you to check those out.

Anything Else?:  Once again, I was surfing around looking for an RRS book and this one jumped up to bite me.  Why?  Dang, just read that back cover blurb again!  Two counts of "pride" and six "proud"s.  Not to mention a plethora of other "p" words.  "Powerful," "painful," "prove," "pity," and "passion."  It was like going back in time to my school days and having my English teacher drone on about alliteration.  Then I started thinking of tongue-twisters, and then it just all went downhill from there.

It was the back cover blurb that caught my eye (for all the wrong reasons), but the Amazon reviews really have me curious about this book now!  A blind hero and a heroine who is hired to be a "reader" for him?  Seriously, I'm not sure I can resist that, and I want to?


Laura Vivanco said...

A blind hero and a heroine who is hired to be a "reader" for him? Seriously, I'm not sure I can resist that, and I want to?

Gayle Wilson wrote a short story, "My Darling Echo" with that storyline, although in her story the injury which caused the blindness occurred quite a long time in the past and the hero has learned ways to cope with his loss of sight so that he can still play an active part in society. Because of that, he doesn't need the heroine's help in the same way as it seems Farrell's Simon Ballance does.

Sunita said...

I love those regency old skool covers! I read this years ago because I was intrigued by the plot. I think it was pretty good, although I don't remember it all that well. She had a number of well-received books, though, so I would call it an excellent UBS score.

A Library Girl said...

For a blind (or nearly blind) hero in a more recent book, there's One Unashamed Night by Sophia James. It also has quite a bit less alliteration.

Phyl said...

I read this years ago and I don't remember if I liked it or not. I also read "My Darling Echo" that Laura mentioned. MDE is probably one of the best Regency novellas I've ever read. That one has always stuck with me. I should dig up the Farrell and re-read it.

Marie-Thérèse said...

I just bought this due to your post. It sounds like it's right up my alley so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Teresa Medeiros' 'Yours Until Dawn' has a hero, blinded in a naval battle, falling in love with his nurse. The plot is considerably more complicated and much more improbable than those two lines convey, though, and despite some nice moments, it's one of her less successful books to my mind.

Anonymous said...

"Entwined" by Emma Jensen has a nearly blind hero; it's a very good read.

Wendy said...

Laura: Ooooh, that sounds interesting! Missed that anthology the first go-around. Shall have to hunt it up!

Sunita: There's one UBS 'round here that has a pretty decent trad section. Shall have to take a look next time I'm down that way.

Library Girl: I think I have that James title on my Sony Reader! Yippee!

Phyl: I used to have pretty good recall on books I'd read - but these days unless it's OMG GREAT or OMG SUCK my memory has a hard time retaining it all.....

Marie: Yeah, I've read Yours Until Dawn. I remember liking parts of it, and some other bits....not so much.

Dick: Ooooh, that one sounds good too! Y'all are not helping my UBS shopping list!

Susan/DC said...

I thought Miss Ware's Refusal was very good. Simon was blessed with wealth and position. But he was also a young man blessed with health and strength until, one day, he was not. He could no longer see to ride a horse or play a game of cards or dance at Almack's, and so he retreats from the world he used to command so effortlessly. I thought this was a far better book than the Medeiros, less melodramatic and more psychologically true, as well as more realistic in that Simon does not magically get his sight back in the end.

Marjorie Farrell wrote a number of VG trad Regencies. I also liked Lady Barbara's Dilemma, which had a Jewish couple as the secondary romance, and dealt quite well with the issue of anti-Semitism in an historically accurate and non-preachy way.

Wendy said...

Susan: There's a good romance UBS near me that has a pretty decent trad area. I hope to get down that way in a week or so - and this one is on the "shopping list!"

Marie-Thérèse said...

Susan/DC, thanks for mentioning 'Lady Barbara's Dilemma'. I see now on checking Amazon that it features Lady Barbara Stanley, a very interesting secondary character from 'Miss Ware's Refusal' and is the third in a trilogy that started with that book (the second book is apparently 'Autumn Rose').

I just finished 'Miss Ware's Refusal' and enjoyed it very much. While it's not without flaws (Farrell has a bad habit of telling the reader repeatedly what she's already amply and often skilfully demonstrated through her characters' actions and words; also, forms of address and sometimes conduct seemed much too casual for the period), the story was touching and the characters were well-drawn, sympathetic and rather unusual in appearance and attitude (the heroine, for instance, is described as "somewhat plain" and "wrenlike" and she describes the hero's face as "not quite handsome"; both are also interested in radical political reform and issues of social justice). I liked the book enough that I'm definitely interested in obtaining and reading the other two in the trilogy and am especially glad to know that Barbara, who was left quite alone and a bit downhearted at the end of MWR, features in her own story.