Reading Journal Entry: The Reluctant Hero, by Mary Kingsley

Yes, another Regency! And finally, it's one that I liked. This is not your typical comedy of manners - the hero encounters the heroine running away from kidnappers, and it's a headlong tumble down the ski-slope from there. Charles Kirk is a younger son injured in the peninsular war, bored out of his mind now that he's back. Lady Serena Fairchild is the toast of the Season, until she's kidnapped by no-goodniks* after her dad's money.

Kirk rescues the fleeing Serena from Bad Guys #1 and #2. In the course of the difficult journey to return her to her home, he compromises her utterly and falls firmly in love. He manages to shake off the ghostly hands of a dead Portuguese love, she manages to get over the fact that he had feelings for someone else, and the no-goodniks get what they deserve.

The writing was smooth (if only Regency authors would rid themselves of the habit of using 'Tis' instead of 'It's'), the characters believable and, more importantly, not boring stupid-heads. B+. It doesn't get an A only because the behavior of the secondary characters is at times contrived.

*Oddly, the word no-goodnik is not used in the book.

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