Apr 252014
 

Brighter_Front_CoverA Charming and Spirited Traditional Regency Romance

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

Artemisia Grantley, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, adored her idyllic and quite life in the country; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world without experiencing the thrills of a London Season. Polite society and the haut ton don’t appeal to Artemisia, she much rather spend her days shooting and riding horses around her uncle’s estate. But her Uncle Timmy, the Duke of Wentworth, has decided that is time for Artemisia to receive “a little town polish,” experience public life, and finally come out into society. Despite her aversion to the plan, Artemisia must trade in her borrowed breeches, coarse lawn shirt, and slouchy hat and don modish walking dresses and fashionable ball gowns…

Guiding and chaperoning Artemisia through her first season is the beautiful, wealthy, and widowed Lady Lubriot, half-sister to the Duke of Wentworth’s close friend the Marquess of Chysm, a single, eligible, and wealthy man who most decidedly is not in want of a wife! While Lady Lubriot’s youthfulness, lively spirits, and kindness easily win the affection and cooperation of her young charge, Lord Chysm, with his proclivity for giving offense and pointing out Artemisia’s flaws, raises her ire and continuously tries her temper. With the help of these two and her uncle, Artemisia attempts to make her societal debut without any mishaps, but it seems that scandal, intrigue, and her mother’s dubious past continuously threaten her chances of success.

What an utterly delightful novel! I was quite enamored with our hero and heroine and their tumultuous relationship! Due to terrible first impressions, their relationship began with an instant and intense dislike. Most of their conversations contained little civility and much contention, as they both repeatedly challenged each other with verbal sparing matches and set downs. In addition, they were both so skilled at repressing and fighting their feelings for each other, that they easily misunderstood and misinterpreted every look, word, and action! (Loved seeing these two fall in love against their will, against their reason, and even against their character!)

The hero and heroine weren’t the only characters I adored in this novel, each character (main and secondary) was colorful, comical, and well-drawn. Furthermore, I took great pleasure in discovering how some characters shared similar traits and familiar personalities with various Jane Austen characters. Aunt Ophelia, with her particular attention to food and decided opinions seemed like a cross between Mr. Woodhouse and Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Lively, boyish, principled, yet naïve Artemisia felt like a delightful blend of Elizabeth Bennet and Catherine Morland. And Lord Chysm, with his disinterest in marriage, aloof appearance, yet hidden honorable nature and heroic actions, definitely reminded me of several classic Georgette Heyer heroes. I don’t know if these similarities were intentional or accidental, but I greatly admired these cleverly crafted characters!

My one small quibble for this novel was that the French conspiracy and spy/informant business was a little hard to follow. Since the reader doesn’t learn everything all at once and Lord Chysm’s work is slowly revealed, I felt a little confused at times. (But this might be because my knowledge and understanding of Napoleonic France isn’t much to speak of!)

What a smashing debut novel for D.G. Rampton!!! On the cover it very aptly states: “A Regency novel in the tradition of Jane Austen.” The inspiration from and homage to Jane Austen and traditional Regency romances is abundantly clear on every page. I highly recommend this novel and author to readers who love Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and traditional Regency romances!

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  21 Responses to “Artemisia – D.G. Rampton”

  1.  

    Great review Meredith and I will definitely be adding this book to my wishlist!

  2.  

    Oh, I agree, and am going immediately to add this to my wish list! One thing: I have NEVER read any Georgette Heyer so the references don’t connect with me.

    •  

      oh you definitely should read some Georgette Heyer. Her novels are so much fun. However, you may need a little help understanding the slang.

    •  

      If you like Jane Austen-type novels and well-drawn, eccentric, and lovable characters than you will definitely love Georgette Heyer novels, Sheila! I’ve read only 5 or 6, but I find them to be so much fun!

  3.  

    Hi Meredith

    Can’t wait to read this – must order from now. Sounds great from your review

  4.  

    I, too, am adding Artemesia to my wish list. Your excellent review, Meredith, has me intrigued. I’ve read two of Georgette Heyer’s books. I also own a reference book titled Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester. I find this book to be a wealth of information and explanations of Regency England!! In my limited experience with Heyer’s writing, I think there is a lack of extensive characterization, although great stories. I’m looking forward to Artemesia and Rampton’s characters!

  5.  

    I hadn’t heard of this one before. I’m glad you loved it and I’m happy to add it to my to-read list. I must meet this broody hero! lol

    •  

      I don’t think I would have heard of it on my own either. I’m so glad the author contacted me about reading and reviewing! I think you greatly enjoy Lord Chysm, Monica! 😉

  6.  

    This sounds like a definite tbr for me also. Thanks for sharing. Heyer is known for her witty dialogue as well…..which I think confuses people because it’s not usually a super challenging plot….depending on the story I guess.

    •  

      I didn’t mention it much (because I had so much I wanted to share!) but there is plenty of humor, witty dialogue, and hilarious mishaps in this novel too. 🙂 Ms. Rampton definitely captured the spirit of Georgette Heyer with her novel!

  7.  

    I hadn’t heard of this one until I saw you were reading it Meredith, but since then I’ve seen another good review for it. As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of both Austen and Heyer, so I certainly need to read this. I’ve added it to my wishlist.

  8.  

    Thanks Meredith for the discovery of a new interesting novel! 🙂

  9.  

    It is always great to discover a new author Meredith. Thanks for sharing!

  10.  

    Thank you for the review, Meredith. This one flew under my radar, but with comparisons to Austen and Heyer, how could I not read it?! I have a Barnes and noble gift card burning a hole in my pocket, so this will begin to make a dent. Thanks for helping me spend my gift card!

    •  

      So happy to put this lovely book on your radar! And yes, I have very special ability when it comes to spending amazon and barnes and noble gift cards! 🙂 You need any help, you come to me. LOL!

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