by Mona Gedney

February 2004
ISBN: 0-821-77621-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

The very first Regency romance I ever read was by Mona Gedney. At the time I picked it up, sometime in 1995, I had no idea what a traditional Regency was; in fact, after reading almost nothing but science fiction for 25 years, I was only becoming aware of how wonderful romances were--particularly historical romances. So I will always have a warm feeling about this particular writer.

It was therefore a pleasure for me to see a new release from Mona Gedney, and I happily chose it for one of my review books. After reading it, I can now happily recommend it to those readers who enjoy love stories set during this fascinating period in English history.

The story begins as Lizzie Lancaster and Matthew Webster pledge their undying love to each other as he prepares to ride off to fight Napoleon. Lizzie gives her beloved a St. George medallion to keep him safe, and weeps copiously as he departs. She worries constantly through years of warfare, then prays for him as he works for Wellington during the Congress of Vienna. So imagine her shock and chagrin when she receives a curt note from him announcing his engagement to another lady!

Lizzie has always been a quiet homebody, but this Turkish treatment lights a fire under her. She arranges to travel to Vienna with an aunt--oh, and to transform herself into a striking, sophisticated beauty. She will show that dastardly fellow a thing or two! He will regret the day he was born!

Part of the plot deals with the ways in which she manages to torment Matthew. And the readers--at least the female readers--will agree that he deserves it! Part of the story deals in an interesting manner with Lizzie’s adventures in Vienna, not the usual setting for a Regency story and therefore refreshing. I feel certain that the author researched the background for this novel extensively, for she brings the city and the events of those tumultuous days to life.

I liked the story partly because it’s fun to vicariously torture Matthew, partly because I enjoy experiencing the unusual background, and partly because I meet some fascinating characters within the international mileau, and I had no idea what role they would eventually play. I would have liked to get into Matthew’s head more than I did, though, because I kept wondering, “What can he be thinking?” Clearly, I was caught up by the story and the characters. I wanted to understand his motivations earlier than I did.

If you enjoy engaging love stories set in an intriguing, unusual time and place, you should love A Love Affair for Lizzie. And I am honored to review this author.

Reviewed in May 2004 by Barbara H..

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