July 6, 2012

Review : The Famous Heroine / The Plumed Bonnet by Mary Balogh

Title : The Famous Heroine / The Plumed Bonnet
Author : Mary Balogh
Reading Dates : 29 May - 01 Jun 2012
Total Pages : 495
From Amazon :
Cora Downes has beauty, spirit, and money, but no breeding. Yet when she gains renown for a daring rescue, she finds herself thrust into high society. Innocent and adrift in a world of beautiful banquets, bejeweled gowns, and snobbish standards, Cora is quickly compromised into a marriage—to a frivolous lord whose interests seem to lie elsewhere. But could piercingly blue-eyed and well-mannered Francis Kneller turn out to be the most unexpected love of her life?

Alistair Munro, the Duke of Bridgwater, is looking for love outside the bounds of polite society. And that’s what he expects to receive when he rescues a seemingly disreputable girl in a colorful bonnet off the side of the road. Yet Stephanie Gray, a former governess, has recently come into money and is eager for a proper match with a well-born man. Sure that he’s sullied her name, Alistair offers marriage to make amends. And in this unlikely union, Stephanie and Alistair make a welcome discovery—that sometimes it’s possible to marry first, then fall in love.

Book Review of The Famous Heroine / The Plumed Bonnet.

Both the romances in the book encounter some difficulties revolving around misconceptions regarding appearances. However, while I loved The Famous Heroine, The Plumed Bonnet was merely passable.

Cora Downes and Francis Kneller are a lovely couple. Their courtship was hilarious and sweet because they’re both very kind people with a great sense of humor, capable of laughing at themselves. They very easily wound up on my list of favorite romance couples.

Cora and Francis’s story was wonderful. Without any melodrama, their slow slide into love was as natural as breathing. They both realized their feelings after becoming each other’s best friends. Best of all, I had great fun laughing along with them as they enjoyed their season and the ton.

On the other hand, I only liked The Plumed Bonnet because the Knellers and their family makes an appearance here. They’re also the only reason I’m thinking of looking for Mary Balogh’s related books.

Alistair Munro strikes me as being typical of wounded romance heroes while Stephanie Gray was utterly spineless. The explanation that she behaved the way she did out of gratitude and duty just doesn’t wash with me.

Read separately from The Famous Heroine, I might have enjoyed The Plumed Bonnet more but put together with the other, the tale doesn’t measure up. There was nothing to lift it out of the ordinary. And the main couple doesn’t interest me at all.

The book however is a keeper because of The Famous Heroine.

My conclusions :

  • Would I re-read the book ? Yes
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series if there were one? Yes, I'd like to see more of the Knellers.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Yes.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Romance readers.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Buy it.

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