Somehow, when I first came in contact with this genre, I was lucky enough to stumble upon two pretty good books that managed to get me hooked on historical romances. The first one was Julia Quinn’s “To Sir Philip, with love”. The second was Ms. Quick’s “Ravished”. Need I say more?
Nobody can write bluestockings like Ms. Quick. Nobody! While other such heroines tend to be wallflowers with certain literary pursuits or budding journalists, Ms. Quick’s heroines usually don’t give a damn on what the society regards as proper and are experts in their field of work… all the while not being very impressed with the antics of their over-the-top heroes.
Harriet and Gideon are the perfect example. He’s a huge, brooding and lonely beast of a man with trust issues and a penchant for allowing society think the worst of him. She’s “almost” a slip of a woman with an unusual hobby, overlapping teeth and a streak of independence, who’s used to getting her way. Still, when she stumbles upon the hideout of a gang of thieves, she summons the master of the land and practically demands that he free her beloved caves. I immediately liked Gideon because he believed her. He did not belittle her for her hobby or think that she had some sort of mental condition, despite the manner in which she received him, and he ended up solving the pest situation, though with some difficulty.
As always with Ms. Quick, there is a gaggle of charming secondary characters (family and friends), some really interesting dynamics between the protagonists (and I’m not just talking about the horizontal tango here – for example, he’s not wary of impending pregnancy, but rather of his betrothed being brought to town to “acquire polish”) and a really old mystery to be solved (though you kind of see that one coming). He’s trying to be forceful and frightening, she’s having none of that and manages all tight situations surprisingly well. Together, despite all expectations, they are quite sweet and a force to be reckoned with.
Yes, all the way!