Kate Rendell is hovering closely to the fine line between young lady and spinster. In an age when young ladies are expected to be seen and not heard, obedient and compliant, Kate is outspoken, assertive and impulsive. Those are not qualities that bring suitors to the doorstep. In fact, most of them are seen leaving at a rapid pace! When Harry Gerard, Lord Ainsworth, comes to Rendell Hall in search of a particular painting, she is at her worst - rude, suspicious and arrogant. Fate has plans for the couple, though, and some of the twists and turns are quite amusing.
For a Regency romance to be successful, several elements must be present. They include characters who are a part of the haut ton (or high society), the requisite balls, soirees and other parties that comprise The Season, and some type of social convention to be breached. Of course, it goes without saying that there also must be a romance!
The Girl with the Persian Shawl by Elizabeth Mansfield contains all of these elements and more. Ms. Mansfield has created vivid characters, and has a fine attention to detail that comes from the experience of having written over 25 novels. The story is, however, a “sweet” romance, one in which there is no overt sexual content. While I was left a little unfulfilled, I think this would be a lovely book to give to a younger reader as an introduction to romance literature or the Regency genre.