Kiss Me, Annabel
The Essex sisters, beautiful Scottish orphans, are the toast of Regency London. The second sister, Annabel, intends to use the Season to find a rich Englishman, marriage to whom will rescue her from poverty and Scotland. Enter the Earl of Ardmore, handsome, apparently poor and Scottish. A scandal forces them to elope to the dreaded Highlands where she discovers the Earl is not what she supposed.
An admitted Georgette Heyer addict, James has created appealing modern versions of Heyer heroines: beautiful, intelligent but naïve, and feisty. She throws in the usual Almacks and an exquisite, sardonic rake with gleaming Hessians. Ardmore is nicer than Heyer’s heroes but gorgeous and also with gleaming Hessians. The dialogue is sparky, if more 2006 than 1817. The novel is long. The “romance”, i.e. sex, is explicit and a bit repetitive; a far cry from Heyer’s chaste clinches in the final chapter.