It had been so long since I read a Regency Romance that I had forgotten how much I enjoyed them. The Nobody by Diane Farr was a delightful reminder.
Caitlin Campbell is a heroine not unlike some of those brought to life by Jane Austen. Although her family’s financial circumstances are below what is necessary to gain entrance into the ton, Caitlin’s manners and wit are far superior to many of the snobs she meets in London when she and her younger sister journey there for a season under their aunt’s sponsorship.
Caitlin also possesses a healthy degree of pride – it is her fatal flaw. It is this pride that sends her running into the night after hearing her character besmirched at an evening party. She almost makes it back to her aunt’s house unnoticed but is suddenly swept into the arms of a complete stranger fleeing from footpads! Finally freeing herself from the scoundrel’s embrace, Caitlin proceeds to give the arrogant swine a thorough dressing down and hurries home – but she cannot forget his kiss.
Injured and in serious danger of losing his life, Richard, Lord Kilverton, recklessly seizes the lone young lady he spots on a dark London street and uses her to escape his pursuers. Never before has he been the victim of such indignation and wit! He instantly loses a bit of his heart to this minx whose face he cannot see. Engaged to another, he resigns himself to never knowing her identity – until he discovers that the woman who plagues his thoughts is none other than his sister’s best friend!
Richard and Caitlin fight their feelings for each other, knowing they can never be together while he is betrothed to another. There is no chance that Lady Elizabeth, Richard’s fiancee, will release him from his promise. As one of society’s brightest and coldest diamonds, she is all well aware of the brilliancy of the match, and the social ramifications of ending it. Of course, there is always the chance that whoever is trying to kill Richard might actually succeed before the wedding can take place.
The Nobody is a wonderful blend of romance and humor. Caitlin is feisty and bright without being shrewish and Richard is far from a typical alpha male. Somehow, Farr manages to make her characters realistic and vulnerable without allowing them to seem weak. Farr has also created wonderful secondary characters to compliment Richard and Caitlin, and in fact those secondary characters almost steal the show! I adored Richard’s friend Ned and was disappointed when his part of the plot resolved – leaving no chance for a book of his own. In fact, the only problem I had with this delightful book was that the heroine was absent in several of the final chapters as a secondary plot took precedence over the romance. I carried on, however, and was not disappointed by the sweet and satisfying ending. Farr has captured the Regency creditably, peppering her prose with just enough cant and humor to be reminiscent of Georgette Heyer. For those of you who had feared the Regency was dead, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of The Nobody.