Fans of romance recognize what a wonderful genre it is, yet still acknowledge that it is subject to the same vagaries as any other type of writing. A fiction fan doesn’t love all fiction, and an avid romance reader doesn’t love all romances. But Julie Anne Long is one author to recommend to anyone who loves to read, period. Long writes predominantly historicals of the Regency era, that temptingly fascinating period at the turn of the 19th century. And her latest work for Avon, The Perils of Pleasure (a colleague hated the title, though I was less inclined to dwell on it), is marvelous.
Colin Eversea, sentenced to hang for having killed a relative of the Redmonds (think Montagues and Capulets big time), is rescued from the gallows by Mrs. Madeleine Greenway, a widow quite capable of getting things done (he calls her “Wellington with eyelashes”).
Then it is a race to find out who is behind the trumped-up charges against Colin, who hired Madeleine to save him, and why someone tried to kill Madeleine once her job was accomplished. Colin and Madeleine fight their mutual attraction, considering it a consequence of their flight for survival. But, eventually, they give in to it, and true love wins the day (this is a romance, after all). The plot keeps you guessing, but it is the verbal acumen and inner dialog that are riveting here. Long’s way with language and character is mesmerizing.
Library Journal’s six-times-a-year Romance column can’t include every title, even every exceptional title. So it gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to tell readers looking for quality works to savor and quality authors to follow about Julie Anne Long. Miss this one at your Peril!