The Roguish Miss Penn
The Roguish Miss Penn is a delightful Regency romp through the fields of Cambridge and along the banks of the River Cam. Despite some odd word usages, repetitive phrases, and a slightly improbable storyline, the author leads us with a sure hand through the tried-and-true catalogue of vicissitudes during the heroine Katherine’s romantic journey. The story is peopled with interesting, amiable characters: the plucky, smart but slightly naïve heroine; her scholarly, prudish father; her happy-go-lucky younger brother; and, of course, the devilishly handsome viscount, who is the hero who captures Katherine’s heart. Hendrickson adds whimsical touches such as a pet goose, a favored donkey, a plain-spoken aunt and a nasty-tongued, gossipy girlfriend to round out the actors and provide diversions and frustrations for Katherine and her hero. The author sets up the desire of Katherine’s heart—to see the play she has written be acted on the stage at the annual market fair, while keeping her authorship a secret—to good effect as the MacGuffin around which love and danger swirl. A fun, quick read.