Pamela's Second Season
In Pamela’s Second Season Donna Simpson ties up loose ends from A Country Courtship, gives us the main story, a romance between Pamela Neville and Malcolm Bercombe, the Earl of Strongwycke, and introduces us to Pamela’s sister Rachel, who will be the subject of the next book.
Gerry, Lord Haven, is in London with his fiancee, Jane, his mother and grandmother, and his sisters, Pamela and Rachel, for the Season. No one is really very happy about it with the exception of Lady Haven. Jane wants to go back north and be married in the village where she and Gerry met, Gerry is trying to placate his mother – who wants a big Society wedding – Rachel pouts, and Pamela wants to go back home where she can be with their neighbor, Sir Colin.
To escape from all the bickering, Pamela takes off to ride in the park and there she meets Malcolm, Earl of Stronwycke, and his niece Belinda. Belinda is suffering from the death of her mother and father, and Strongwycke has no idea how to cope with her. Belinda and Pamela bond and Pamela promises to see her again.
Strongwycke and Pamela meet at several balls and parties, and to her surprise Pamela finds herself enjoying the Season. Her friendship with Belinda ripens and she is good for the motherless girl. She also continues to meet Strongwycke and can’t help but notice that he is a kind and decent man. Strongwycke’s feelings toward Pamela become deep and tender as well, and finally he asks her to marry him, just as Sir Colin arrives for the Season.
While all this is going on, Gerry and Jane are having problems. Lady Haven wants a big wedding, but Jane refuses. She has her heart set on being married in Yorkshire and having her wedding night in her cottage, and she won’t budge. That Gerry has responsibilies toward his sisters as head of the Haven family doesn’t move Jane. She simply will not be married anywhere but Yorkshire. I’ll admit there were times I wanted to shake her. Meanwhile, the younger sister Rachel is courted by the Oh So Proper Lord Yarnell, whom she eventually accepts. Sir Colin is in love with Rachel but she is too snobbish and shallow to give him the time of day.
This is a lot for a the confines of a traditional Regency, but Donna Simpson mostly makes it work. The Rachel/Yarnell plot does not take up much room, since Rachel will have her own book later this year. I will admit I did not warm up to Gerry and Jane as her Jane’s insistence on marrying only in Yorkshire made her seem TSTL (too stubborn to like).
However, I did like Strongwycke and Pamela very much. Pamela was independent, and not inclined to follow The Rules of the ton, but she never came across as silly or childish. Her infatuation with Sir Colin is very understandable since they have known each other for so long and are very well suited. But she is wise enough to realize the difference between love and infatuation.
Strongwycke is a serious man. He’s been hurt in love before, which has caused him to be broody, but he does not hate all women because of it. He is no rake, preferring politics and work to dissipation. He loves his niece but does not know how to help her over her grief. The lively and intelligent Pamela is a great match for him and they make a wonderful couple.
Donna Simpson is an automatic buy for me when it comes to Regency Romance writers. She writes some of the most interesting characters in the Regency genre: a heroine who is a fortune hunter (Belle of the Ball), a heroine with severe arthritis (Lord St. Claire’s Angel), a husband and wife who rediscover their love after a long separation (Lady Delafont’s Dilemma), and a hero and heroine who are in their 40’s (A Matchmaker’s Christmas). If you are a fan of Regency Romances, but are tired of belles and beaux, give Donna Simpson a try. I think you will like her style.