Sweet romance which upends several genre cliches, though it's hampered by others. The heroine is angsty, the hero is nice, and there's a teeny bit of mutual bondage, and so it's exactly what I requested. Thanks guys!

Set in a probably completely historically inaccurate Regency period, but darker than most Regency romances. Serena was sold off by her brothers to an evil old pervert when she was fifteen; now he's dead, and her brothers are planning to sell her again. She flees into the night, and meets up the virgin hero, Francis, who is engaged to a nice young woman whom he doesn't love. Serena thinks her entire worth is sexual, and she molests (seduces, she thinks) him while he's asleep, figuring that all men want sex all the time, under any circumstance. She's astonished when Francis wakes up and is not happy at all.

Amazingly, what develops from this gender-reversed "You raped me, I love you" scenario is psychologically plausible and sympathetic to both parties. It's basically a marriage of convenience/necessity story, in which two people who barely know each other try to build a real relationship. Serena is traumatized and Francis is confused, and the depiction of their bewildered attempts to understand each other is very well done. There's a dumb misunderstanding subplot, which I hate, but it gratifyingly concludes with everyone realizing that they ought to have just asked each other what was going on.

I liked this. Has anyone read anything else by Beverly?
lferion: (FL_Gilly_red-white)

From: [personal profile] lferion


She has what looks like a reasonably useful website which has a brief history/explanation of her Company of Rogues and an annotated list of all her work.

I have not yet read anything of hers, but just on the strength of your post, I think I shall have to look out this one!

From: [identity profile] torrilin.livejournal.com


Pretty much all her stuff is good. Forbidden is one of my all time favorites. She's actually *really* good on marriage customs and law from about 1730-1830, and there were a lot of legal changes within that time period. Her more recent stuff is less angsty, which I kinda find upsetting, since most of the angst is entirely reasonable stuff related to things like "is my brother going to kill me as he has every legal right to do"?

(no, English law was not at all enlightened...)

From: [identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com


I have read all Jo Beverley.

Well, except for some of her trad Regencies and novellas, but in general, I am her slavering fangirl.

The Georgian Malloren books are a lot of fun--I love the men's outfits especially. You might be able to find the newer ones most easily, and they were both great: A MOST UNSUITABLE MAN and A LADY'S SECRET.

Of the Regencies, AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE has a horrifically angstful beginning; it's really neat to see how she works it out. The only two of that series I liked less were SKYLARK (not enough action) and DANGEROUS JOY, for reasons I can't really remember...might have just fallen flat for me.

I am not fond of Medievals, so though hers are good, I am not that into them.

From: [identity profile] torrilin.livejournal.com


Dangerous Joy is just... bad. I can see how it turned out horrible, and from that I conclude that Beverley should stick to writing stuff with female characters who are at least vaguely realistic for her period.

From: [identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com


I'm missing some of her trads, but I don't like those as much...need to look at the list and see.

From: [identity profile] eileenlufkin.livejournal.com


I think I would be interested in borrowing one or two that oracne doesn't have dibs on.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter


Oh huh, I will have to try this again. I think I read the first bit years and years ago and wanted the heroine to be colder and icier or something, so it will be interesting to try again with different expectations.
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)

From: [personal profile] cofax7


I used to be on a Dunnett list with Beverly: although I only read one or two of her novels (and nothing recently), she's quite nice, and good company on a mailing list.
ext_6428: (Default)

From: [identity profile] coffeeandink.livejournal.com


Jo Beverley reviews. (::preens over tags yet again::)

Beverley started off with traditional Regencies (most of which were eh) and moved on to full-length historicals, including Regency historicals, many of which are quite good. Particular favorites of mine are: The Shattered Rose (adulterous heroine! not quite sure it was successful, but it's interestingly ambitious), My Lady Notorious, and Tempting Fortune.

But I think you should read her recent stuff because I have fallen behind and want to know what's worth checking out. :)

From: [identity profile] minnow1212.livejournal.com


Beverly!

I actually imprinted during high school on one of Beverly's early books, the Regency Emily and the Dark Angel; it's one of a set of linked books (the other ones are pretty forgettable, but the couples show up) and it has a Lymond-lite hero and a practical heroine, and I still love it past anything, although I'm not sure it's particularly great without the glow of reading it at the right place and the right time.

I tend to feel that Beverly's later work--she has the Rogues series, which is I think Regency? and the Mallorean series, which is a Georgian series--is generally solid but would benefit from being condensed heavily. I tend to get impatient with her heroines or heroes taking foreeeeeeeeeeever to decide things.

I adored My Lady Notorious, which is one of her Mallorean books. There's cross-dressing!

From: [identity profile] meganbmoore.livejournal.com


I love Jo Beverly because her plots are always unusual, but she's also hit and miss with me for the sae reason. I tend to like her medivals best, though.

From: [identity profile] riemannia.livejournal.com


My favorite is also Lady Notorious, although I liked most of the Malloran books. I've read fewer of her recent books, but I've really enjoyed her in the past.

From: [identity profile] canandagirl.livejournal.com


I have read a couple, but the titles escape me right now, (particularly since I'm not at home to rumage through bookshelves). I thought she was o.k., but she's not my favorite. I'll let you know later what I have...
.

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