It’s a real pleasure to be helping launch the blog tour today and sharing my review of the debut novel from Josie Bonham, A Good Match For The Major. This lovely Regency romance – the first in a planned series, The Reluctant Brides – is now available for kindle (free via Kindle Unlimited) and in paperback. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the author for my advance reading copy.
No, I know you don’t see much Regency romance here on Being Anne – but I do seem to have been reading rather a lot of light contemporary romance recently, and I thought it might be rather good to try something different. I’m delighted to be able to support Josie a little too – I do know she’s a regular reader of my blog, and has been a great supporter. So, let’s take a closer look…
Pride meets prejudice – can love blossom?
Beautiful young widow, Lady Eliza Wyndham, is determined never to remarry after a disastrous first marriage. The undeniable attraction that fizzes between her and Major Nathaniel Overton terrifies her. She rejects his advances.
With his pride badly dented, Nat vows to forget Eliza until he finds her in danger from an old adversary of his army days. His protective instincts are stirred and he steps back into her life, but will Eliza be prepared to accept his help?
Just sometimes, you can feel how much the author enjoyed creating her characters and telling their story – it’s quite wonderfully infectious, and you find yourself reading with a smile and enjoy the writing even more. From her first appearance, I simply loved Eliza – but as she declares to her hungover brother over the breakfast table “I will never agree to become the legal property of a man again”, you do rather wonder about her chances of maintaining her resolve.
And when Nat – Major Overton – crashes into her life, you do rather wonder why she could possibly want to. As romantic heroes go, he’s quite wonderful – and I’d certainly let him sweep me up onto his horse and ride away with me any time he liked. I don’t know if it’s usual in Regency fiction, but one thing I particularly loved about this book was the real depth to its two main characters – along with the simmering attraction, steadily reaching boiling point, the author makes them entirely real, Nat struggling with his unfamiliarity in being part of society with his more lowly past, Eliza learning to trust again after her first disastrous marriage.
And while Eliza struggles to resist the attraction between them, fearful that he’s just another fortune hunter, it rather distracts her from where the real danger lies – a real villain from Nat’s military past intent on securing her as his wife. The story telling is quite superb – increasing in pace as the tension builds, with quite a few really well done edge-of-the-seat episodes when Eliza becomes rather grateful that Nat has decided to become her protector.
The world-building is thoroughly excellent too – the manners and morals of the era are so well represented, the constraints of its society, the glimpses into the lives of the rich and privileged. There’s a real authenticity about it all that shows the author’s depth of research, but the story wears it wonderfully lightly – it becomes so easy to be gloriously swept away into this other age and to feel entirely part of it. And as for the central romance – I thought that was just absolutely perfect, and it certainly made my heart race a little.
I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book – engaging, gripping, a strong story with characters I really loved, and a historical setting so superbly handled. I’m really looking forward to reading more from Josie Bonham…
About the author
Josie lives in the English midlands, surrounded by towns full of history such as Evesham, Stratford-Upon- Avon, Warwick and Worcester. Which is perhaps why her favourite reads are historical. Out of all the periods to choose from the Regency Era stirs her imagination the most. The true Regency lasted from 1811 until 1820 but dates as wide as 1789 to 1837 have been included in the extended Regency period. For Josie the true flavour of this period emerges after the iniquitous hair powder tax of 1795, unsurprisingly, scuppered the fashion for hair powder almost overnight.
Josie has always dabbled in stories but it took the combined efforts of her sister and eldest niece to set her on the path to writing novels. Her Regency romances, with a dash of adventure and intrigue, are the result.
There is more information on her website at www.josiebonhamauthor.com