Falling For Chloe
Diane Farr’s first Regency Romance, The Nobody, marked her as a writer to watch in this sub-genre. Her second one, Fair Game only reinforced the impression that she was a writer of rare talent. With this, her third Regency, Falling For Chloe she has surpassed herself. This is as good a traditional Regency Romance as I have read this year.
Falling for Chloe is as charming and sweet as a snowflake made of cotton candy. The heroine and hero, Chloe Littlefield and Sylvester “Gil” Gilliland are both pretty as pictures and overflowing with charm. But don’t mistake them for the Regency equivalents of Barbie and Ken – they have tons of character as well.
The opening chapter is a scream. Chloe has gone riding on a horse that is a bit too fractious for her and finds herself ankle deep in mud. Who should come along to rescue her, but her childhood playmate and best friend, Gil. As they prepare to go back home, the heavens open and it pours in buckets. Chloe and Gil take shelter in a cottage where the tenant has gone for a visit to a relative and prepare to wait the storm out.
Since they are both soaked, Gil and Chloe take off their clothing and wrap themselves in the tenant’s sheets. The rain keeps on, and they decide to take turns sleeping (they may be comfortable with each other, but not to the point of sharing a bed). Before you know it – it’s morning, the tenant has returned and Chloe and Gil are both thoroughly compromised and engaged by a couple of devious parents. But Chloe and Gil don’t want to be engaged, they like each other too much.
Gil hatches a plan to ruin the engagement. Chloe will come to London with him and stay with his married sister Tish Darymple. Gil is worried about his sister she has been neglecting her husband, running with a fast crowd and keeping company with a notorious rake, Lord Rival. If Chloe can divert Lord Rival’s attention to herself, then Gil can cry off the engagement and they can go back to being good friends again.
But when Chloe sees Lord Rival, she finds herself attracted to him. And when Gil sees Chloe waltzing with Lord Rival, he gets the unfamiliar sensation of jealousy. Pretty soon there are a myriad of sub-plots – the problems with Tish and her husband’s marriage, Chloe’s introduction to London Society, and Gil’s realization that he does feel more for Chloe than just friendship.
Falling For Chloe is, as I said, a light and frothy story, but it has one supporting character – Lord Rival – who captured my interest whenever he appeared. He is outwardly a handsome, charming baron who is the toast of the ton. Lord Rival has enough scandal attached to his name to give Society a delightful frisson without making him an outcast. But as we find out in the book, there are depths to him that Society is unaware of. I would love to see his character more fully explored in a sequel – Ms. Farr, are you listening? Gil’s mama, by the way, is another strong secondary character; readers will enjoy her immensely.
The Regency novice might be a bit puzzled by the language in Falling For Chloe, Farr uses lots more Regency slang than I am accustomed to, but I never felt lost. I was able to understand all the terms by the context, but a total beginner might be a bit out of her depth.
I heartily recommend Falling For Chloe. Diane Farr has gained a reputation as one of the best of the new writers of the Regency Romance. This book can only add to her reputation.