Thursday, December 29, 2011

Catherine Coulter hits the mark with Prince of Ravenscar

I had given up on Ms. Coulter.  In fact in my last post about a Catherine Coulter novel I said until something new comes along I would not be picking up any more.  I have stuck to that decision until now.
The Prince of Ravenscar is, to me, a delightful return of the wit and romance that made me fall in love with Catherine Coulter in the first place back in the 80’s.
The Prince of Ravenscar is a romantic adventure that is light and frothy.  Lord Julian Monroe is home after a 3 year absence grieving the death of his young wife Lily. Upon his return he discovers his mother, Her Grace Corinne Monroe,  wants Lord Julian to marry her best friend’s daughter and eligible young woman, Sophie. Julian hasn’t seen the girl since she was 12 and still in pigtails.  Sophie’s mother passed away a few years earlier and is relying on her Aunt Roxanne to help her with her first Season in London.  Roxanne is a beautiful woman who at 27 is deemed on the shelf but who secretly longs to be picked up. Julian’s nephew Devlin, future Duke of Brabante is ecstatic over his Uncle’s return to London. Well, he is as happy as an aspiring vampire can be. 
So sets the story for mismatched loves, a mysterious death, kidnapping, and several attempts to expose Devlin to the full light of the day.
The story moves quickly, if not on occasion with a lot of confusion but I found myself smiling and hoping for one match to happen versus another.  There was a little hint of depth to this story too.  These characters discover there is more to them than the stories they have or have not been told all their lives.  Julian discovers the father who died when he was a baby was more than an old man.  Devlin realizes there is more to life than affectations and indolent living and he can have a purpose. 
The other great thing about this story is the women.  This might be a Regency Romance but these women can take care of themselves.  Roxanne prevents her rape with a good kick in her attacker’s privates and later rescues herself again by climbing out a window.  Sophie has a good mind and excellent way with words and can cut or comfort with a flick of her tongue.
This story had a little bit of everything in it with nothing taking over the plot.  Ms. Coulter even managed to mention the racing cats thanks to connections to the Sherbrookes. Ms. Coulter has a wonderful flair for Regency. Was this her best novel? No, but, for me, it is the best read from her in the last few years. I am hoping it is only the beginning of a new trend for a favorite author. I am still staying away from the FBI series.