Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Author Series: Jo Beverley

And now my little author series moves from the classic to the contemporary--though the settings of the stories remain in the past.

Jo Beverley was one of the first romance authors I happened upon when I rediscovered the genre in my 20’s. I’d read Sunfire YA historicals, Georgette Heyers, and traditional Regencies in high school, but in college I read, well, lots of textbooks. And then there was my phase where I thought good Christians weren’t supposed to read romance novels, but that would be a LONG story...

Anyway, Beverley’s books set a standard few historical romance authors can live up to, combining polished, well-crafted prose, impeccable research, and appealing, intelligent characters whose relationships develop believably. She’s a very prolific author whose books are often part of linked series. Each volume stands alone, though in some cases the cast of walk-ons from previous books gets rather large. Three recommendations for good places to start:

1. A Most Unsuitable Man: This one is set in the 18th century and is linked to her long-running series about the Malloren family. An heiress wants to marry a well-bred, titled man to make up for own somewhat disreputable ancestry, but this younger son with no money and a guilty secret is so much more interesting...

2. The Shattered Rose: A love it or hate it book because of the difficult plot point of a heroine who cheated on her husband and bore an illegitimate child while he was away on Crusade. She did think he was dead at the time, and I’ve never been in the “heroines must be perfect” camp of romance readers.

3. Forbidden Magic: A fun Regency story with just a tiny touch of the paranormal. Young woman in desperate straits discovers that wishing on a statue inherited from her mother actually works, though not without complications.

1 comment:

Tess said...

TSR is my absolute favourite of all Jo's books. I almost bought a second copy when it was re-released *g*. Her other medievals are great, as are her Georgians, and Regencies. LOL - can you tell I'm a fan? Skylark is another of my faves as is Devilish. Jo's books take up lots of room on my keeper shelves, for precisely the reasons you outline.