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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Review of a Great Read: Ransome's Honor

Long before I began writing, I was a voracious reader of romances. I still love a great story, and there are many wonderful authors writing them. I invite you to check back on Saturdays when I share my reviews of some books I've enjoyed recently, both historical and contemporary.

The Review

Ransome's Honor by Kaye Dacus

Dacus Delivers a Riveting Regency

Wow! Ransome's Honor by Kaye Dacus is a winner. From first page to last, I was swept into the world of Regency England, brought to life through her vivid descriptions. I could visualize the bustling town of Portsmouth, smell the salty sea air and hear the lap of waves against the hulls of the Royal Navy's magnificent sailing ships.

Amidst the spectacular setting, we encounter a wonderful cast of characters. I liked both Captain William Ransome, the epitome of a distinguished naval officer, and Julia Witherington, a bright, determined, resourceful admiral's daughter. The secondary characters, from Julia's garrulous best friend to William's unrefined but well-intentioned steward-cum-valet, are engaging, although Dacus crafted a set of scheming scoundrels sure to raise your hackles, especially the blackguard Sir Drake Pembroke.

Rejected by Lieutenant Ransome, seventeen-year-old Julia vowed never to forgive him for not proposing to her, as all believed he would. When circumstances bring them together twelve years later, they must face one another--and their long-denied feelings. Now a captain complete with fame and fortune, William is pressed into service as Julia's protector. When deceitful relatives unveil a plan to rob her of her sizable dowry and force her to marry a cousin she reviles, she turns to the man her father loves as a son, the same man who shattered her heart. To keep her from harm, William agrees to the business arrangement she offers him--a one-year marriage in name only--in exchange for her legacy. But can they deny their reemerging feelings for one another?

Dacus is a talented author. I read her contemporaries, Stand-in Groom and Menu for Romance, and enjoyed both. I wondered, however, if her voice would lend itself to historical romance. Indeed, it does. Her research and attention to detail are remarkable, as are her command of the fashions, furnishings and dialogue of the period. She does a fine job incorporating the faith element into Ransome's Honor and has produced an inspirational Regency I enthusiastically recommend.

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Questions for You

Do you enjoy Regency romances? If so, what aspects are most important to you? Historical details? Period-appropriate dialogue?

If you've enjoyed an author's story in one genre, will you generally read her work in another?

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Your Chance to Win a Book

If you enjoy reading inspirational romances, leave a comment for your chance to win my gently-read copy of the title I just reviewed. Be sure to include your email address when prompted, so I can contact you. (I don't share this information.)

I'll choose two winners from all those who leave a comment by the Friday after the post and will post the winners' names this coming Saturday.

Last Week's Winner

Congrats to Diane and Mez, winners of my two copies of Menu for Romance by Kaye Dacus.


Jessica said...

I like most historical romances! I don't care so much about the details, as long as the romance is good. :-)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I can't believe how many books she has out. Wow.

Diane said...

Thank you so much. I am so excited to win and have a good read. It will be appreciated and passed along to many friends!

Cindy said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. I've only recently begun reading historical romances. So far I've enjoyed most of them and find myself very glad I decided to branch out to a new genre.

Keli Gwyn said...

Jessica, there's plenty of romance to go along with the delightful details. Captain Ransome is a too-drool-for hero, and Julia is a strong heroine. I longed to see them get together.

Kaye landed two three-book contracts. What a way to launch a career, huh?

Keli Gwyn said...

Diane, I hope you enjoy Menu for Romance as much as I did.

Keli Gwyn said...

Cindy, as a historical writer, I'm glad to hear you've added the genre to your reading list. What are your favorite periods and settings?

Until now there have been very few inspirational Regencies. Kaye's is a welcome addition to the genre. I look forward to the sequel, Ransome's Crossing.

Edna said...

I would love to win a gently used book or any kind for that matter, no matter how many times the book is read the words are still there. I re-read my books over and over.


Keli Gwyn said...

Edna, I've got your name down for the drawing. I like sharing books and introducing others to authors whose work I enjoy.

Susan Hollaway said...

I love books! It's so kind of you to always share your copies by giving them away in drawings! Kudos to Keli for Kindness!
I've just recently heard of Kay Dacus actually.

Keli Gwyn said...

Susan, thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. I'm sold on Kaye as an author. She's three for three on producing great books.

Keli Gwyn said...

I held the drawing for the two copies of Ransome's Honor. Congratulations to Cindy and Edna, winners of Kaye's first historical. I'll be in touch.