Tuesday, January 2, 2007

A Kind of Honor (Book #1)

Every few months, I make the rounds of favorite used bookstores and my local Value Village just to see what out-of-print treasures catch my eye. My favorites are old Regency romances--often witty drawing room comedies, sometimes history-rich stories of the Napoleonic War battlefields and homefront, and, unfortunately, a rare breed in today's publishing market.

For my first read of 2007, I took up a recent thrift store Regency find, A Kind of Honor (Joan Wolf, 1980), which turned out to be a very unusual romance for any year. It's a bit dark, and it's full of specific historical detail. I'm not normally fond of spy plots, but this one I could get behind because it felt so believable--the villain wanted to pass Wellington's plans for the 1813 campaign to Napoleon, and since those plans involved something of a trick play (Wellington apparently being in a mood to be the Boise State of generals that year), discovery really would've been disastrous for the British war effort.

But what really made this book different is that the heroine is the villain's wife. IOW, it's an adultery story, which is an automatic no for many readers. I'm certainly not a fan of infidelity, but women trapped in loveless marriages with men who turn out to be traitors get a bit of a pass from me, at least in books! And it works for this story, IMHO, because it makes it angsty, dark, and unpredictable.

1 comment:

Tess said...

Wow, that's a JW I've never heard of. I'll have to try to find it.

I noticed Connie Willis's TSNOTD in your Library Thing list. It's a fave of mine too - very clever.