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Marriage not a la mode

The Potential for Love Book Cover The Potential for Love
A Regency Novel
by Catherine Kullmann
Historical Fiction , Romance
Willow Books BooksGoSocial
(25 Mar. 2020)

When Arabella Malvin sees the figure of an officer silhouetted against the sun, for one interminable moment she thinks he is her brother, against all odds home from Waterloo. But it is Major Thomas Ferraunt, the rector’s son, newly returned from occupied Paris who stands in front of her. For over six years, Thomas’s thoughts have been of war. Now he must ask himself what his place is in this new world and what he wants from it. More and more, his thoughts turn to Miss Malvin, but would Lord Malvin agree to such a mismatch for his daughter, especially when she is being courted by Lord Henry Danlow? As Arabella embarks on her fourth Season, she finds herself more in demand than ever before. But she is tired of the life of a debutante, waiting in the wings for her real life to begin. She is ready to marry. But which of her suitors has the potential for love and who will agree to the type of marriage she wants? As she struggles to make her choice, she is faced with danger from an unexpected quarter while Thomas is stunned by a new challenge. Will these events bring them together or drive them apart?

This was my first novel by Catherine Kullman and although it is set in the same world as Darcy Burke’s and Erica Ridley’s books, ie the Regency period, this writer is very different in style and content.
This is a much more serious Regency romance. 
Set just after the battle of Waterloo with the regiments back in the UK on furlough as no longer on active duty. As a result the younger sons and gentlemen of the Ton were welcomed back in their best regimental finery - which of course was very dashing. Much more so than standard society dress.
However, it was not this that was to be the attraction between our two - Thomas and Bella. It was more the things that her father said were important for marriage. Friendship, companionship, similar interests and so on, and of course having compatible temperaments.  Bella’s father said love would come if the other elements were satisfactory and he should know as he was on wife 2. And again we had a number of women dying as they gave birth. 
He was also someone who believed that women could look after money and that they were sensible enough to own property.
This romance, typical of the genre has its ups and downs, with some excitement and rejected lovers etc etc and unexpected events that turn their expectations of their lives together upside down.
This novel was of a good length and thus Catherine could explore quite a number of elements of the story and make it richer and more diverse. It was also enhanced by the author’s research into the era and the incorporation into the story of true elements of history. Not just the boots described in the fashion magazine but also the way men thought about what happened when they were away in the army. According to them the Bible accepted concubines - or mistresses - and it was acceptable to find one as a companion - such as a widow to ‘provide a refuge from military life’. See also what happens when Muslims go on pilgrimage and are ‘rented’ a wife for their stay. Hey ho - the bible was written by men!
 
I thought the novel was written and thoughtful and enjoyed her take on a Regency Romance.

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