Perception and Illusion
Writing good historical romance is an art. While often dismissed as being light on historical details and heavy on the romance, a good historical romance portrays the prerequisite love story against a background of a well-researched and equally well-presented historical background.
Ms Kullmann not only knows her period, she is also wonderfully adept at painting the historical setting in such a way that it is never intrusive yet always there, be it how to arrange for a special marriage license to how to fight a duel between gentlemen. Actualities of the time—such as Prinny’s falling out with Beau Brummel after the latter dismissed the future king as fat, or Napoleon’s escape from Elba—add a further sense of time and place to the descriptions of everything from interiors to clothes.
The supporting cast of characters includes everything from the loyal maidservant to the rather obnoxious father of our heroine, but this is primarily the story of Hugh Tamrisk and Lallie Grey. They are easy to like, these two people who meet, fall in love and marry, only to lose their way as the expectations of society overwhelm them. Both of them are wary of being hurt, neither of them quite dares to declare their love for the other, and after a series of misunderstandings it seems their marriage is doomed to fail.
Fortunately, any romance worth its name has a happily ever after, so too Perception and Illusion. I can but congratulate Ms Kullmann on this beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable little gem and warmly recommend it to any reader looking for that well-balanced combination of period detail and love that is the hallmark of a truly good historical romance.