by Lesley-Anne McLeod

September 2002
ISBN: 0-671-56882-5
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To me, the Regency era is known for the fashionable clothes and the quick-witted dialogue. I picked up Clemmie’s Major expecting just that. Much to my dismay I was disappointed.

The book starts off in a very promising manner introducing Major Gideon Rhyle, and explaining a bit of the background on our hero. Gideon was injured in the battle of Waterloo and now walks with a limp. His emotions over the incident were seldom, if ever, considered.

And then along comes Widow Clemintina, Countess of Carmelth, and her young son, Christopher. The boy, still very young, thinks that Gideon is a giant and does not hesitate to ask if, indeed, Gideon was. After an amusing bit of conversation, Clemintina ducks away and into her carriage, setting off for the estate where her parents and sisters are staying. One of her sisters is engaged and the whole family is staying at her fiancee’s estate until moving on to their own home in Brighton.

It’s been a long time since Clemintina has seen her family, each one of them snobbish in their own right. A series of incidents happen, and Clemintina finds that Gideon is a cousin to her sister’s fiancee’s neighbor. The Major is convinced that Christopher wandering off twice, and Clemintina’s horse is becoming so spooked it throws her are all related, and that someone is out to harm the future Earl of Carmelth.

The book finally reaches a dull climax and a few pages from the end, Gideon and Clemintina admit that they’re ‘fond’ of each other, and then on the same page it goes to ‘love.’

This book was a good idea, but very badly portrayed. The dialogue was not snappy, but stiff and cold, reminiscent of medieval novels. The characters were cold and disdainful and I found myself itching to yell, scream and yes, even punch each and every one of them. Clemintina’s sisters were snobbish and spoiled, with perhaps the exception of Eleonora. I very much enjoyed the ‘rake’ that was Eleonora’s future neighbor, however, and enjoyed Gideon quite a bit. But Clemintina was probably the worst one of all. She was haughty, condescending, snobbish and, in short, less than heroine material.

I would be interested in reading other books by this author, but in no way shape or form would I recommend this book to Regency fans.

Reviewed in June 2002 by Lucy.

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