Historical fiction

I just finished reading two books. Both could be termed historical novels, I suppose, but they are set in very different perioda and geographical places.

The first was Lessons from a Scandalous Bride by Sophie Jordan. This was an Avon romance set mostly in London in the Regency period. A bleak beginning establishes why Cleo, the heroine, has a distaste for the physical side of marriage and the possibility of childbirth. She is suddenly swept away to the ton by the father who had abandoned her and her mother. He provides a hefty dowry so she can marry into a title. She chooses a man so old that he can’t insist on husbandly rights. Of course, a virile Scots lord changes all that and love ensues.

The main character of the second book, The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty, has endured a sexless marriage not of her own doing. Cora goes to New York City in the early 1920s to find out about the mother who abandoned her to an orphanage while acting in loco parentis for silent movie-star-to-be Louise Brooks. Some of Louise’s flapper rebelliousness rubs off on Cora, and she too is able to find love in an unexpected way.

Moriarty has done her homework. Her book is well-researched and paints a vivid picture of what was like in the Roaring Twenties. But Cora doesn’t get a HEA. I’ll stick with regencies, thanks.

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