countrygentleman The Country Gentleman

St. Martin’s Press, 1987 / Fawcett Crest, 1987

“In the battle of the sexes waged in this lively Regency romance, the contestants are overtaken by circumstances. Bluestocking Ann Guilfoyle, still single at 29, is a liberated woman happily ensconced in a 10-year platonic relationship with worldly Lord Ensley, whose perilous fiscal conditions prohibits a sanctioned union. Their idyll is shattered by Ensley’s arranged marriage to an heiress and aby a sudden reversal of Anne’s fortunes, which causes her to leave the London salon circuit and retire to an inherited farm-estate. Ann adjusts uneasily to the slow pace, applying her rapier wit to lampoons of the natives, which appear in the London Times. As a result, her Oxford-educated, silently admiring bachelor neighbor, Mr. Highet, has little trouble identifying himself as the parodied ‘Mr. Mutton Slowtop, the idiot sheep farmer.’ In due course, the country gentleman’s manly forbearance wins out over the London beau. The victory is detailed with wit and verve, qualities of Hill’s earlier novels, which include ‘The Stanbroke Girls’ and ‘The Love Child.’” — Publishers Weekly

“Spunky 28-year-old Anne Guilfoyle begrudgingly accepts her deceased great-uncle’s willed country estate before entering into a marriage of convenience with next-door neighbor Henry Highet, in a lighthearted Regency romance.” — Booklist

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stanbrokegirlsThe Stanbroke Girls

St. Martin’s Press, 1981/ Bantam 1983

“Kind reader, please have patience because this paragraph is extremely difficult for your worldly and cynical reviewer to compose. I have just finished The Stanbroke Girls, by Fiona Hill, the first Regency romance that I have ever had occasion to open, and much to my surprise–nay, my astonishment–I have found that I rather liked it, that it was witty and fun. I had steeled myself for mawkish dialogue: ‘The bright intensity of his dark liquid eye seemed to pierce her very spirit…’ But nothing prepared me for a novel that had all the ingredients of classic romantic farce–sisters trying to marry off reluctant brothers, the misunderstood overheard conversation and the inadvertent marriages of a dedicated rake. Humor is such a scarce commodity in genre fiction that I can only applaud lines like, ‘Property and propriety. The two great pros of marriage.’ Or the author’s aside, ‘How can a love story proceed when the principals persist in liking each other?’

After reading The Stanbroke Girls, how can I persist in hating Regency romances?” — Walter Shapiro, Washington Post Book World

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autumnroseThe Autumn Rose

G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1978 / Berkley, 1979

“Headstrong, outspoken, sparkling Lady Caro Wythe, being 23 years old and dying on the vine, is sent to Georgian London to catch a husband, though she has no desire for one. Her marriage consultant, dowager Lady Beatrice, says that with her looks (skinny) and advanced age, she had best cultivate a reputation for eccentricity. So Caro dutifully smokes cigars, wears only the color rose, and gives her naturally sharp tongue free rein. All this–plus her rash temper–gets her involved in a brouhaha with caddish Lord Mockabee, who sinks so far as to lampoon her in the public press. But this is nothing to what Mockabee plans for Caro’s housemate and companion, silly and malicious Amy Meredith, who is a trial to her guardian, handsome Lord Seabury, in whose home the two girls will have their ‘come-out.’ Caro finds Seabury gorgeous but glacial, and, worse, he seems to be engaged to the most boring woman in England. Add to this crew an elderly compulsive gambler and two comic chaperones (one of whom unpicks the other’s embroidery after-hours) and you have the ideal dramatis personae for a Georgette Heyerish bit of flummery–with considerably more wit and pizazz than the legendary Georgette herself.” — Kirkus

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thelovechildThe Love Child

G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1977 / Berkley, 1977

The appealing conventions of the 18th-century novel decorate this light-fingered historical romance. Outspoken, beautiful Lotta Chilton is parentless and poor. Hiring out as companion to the haughty old Duchess of Karr, she wins the heart of the young heir but has scruples because of their difference in station. At the Duchess’ annual house party, Lotta watches while Jessica Cawley, scribbler of roman à clef Gothics, twirls (via a mysterious gypsy and a stage-managed ghost) into the arms of the man she once satirized and now loves. And fellow guests Lord and Lady Stanton are being blackmailed to the ground by ruthless adventuress Countess di Tremini, who knows that Lady Stanton either had a child out of wedlock in Italy or else is bigamously married now. If it could only work out that Lotta were the misplaced baby, she could marry her blueblooded Karr. Fear not–all’s for the best in a world where every gypsy is a true lover in disguise and all the pumpkins are secretly coaches.” — Kirkus

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sweetsfollySweet’s Folly

Berkley / Putnam, 1977


“A cheerfully connived entertainment ‘in prime twig’ for the Heyer audience that was, although it’s far less reliant on all those period social conventions and uses a new set of givens. Honor, living with two aunts who really need their tuppences for a whole collection of stray dogs and cats, decides to relieve them of her support by marrying Alexander, her friend Emily’s brother. Emily arranges this–she’s emancipated and has hopes of winning an art prize (she does, but it’s forfeited when her sex is discovered). Alexander, a distrait geometrician, is remote beyond reach so that the marriage is not very intact, only Honor is. Lively and likable–honor bright.” — Kirkus

“Here’s a new ploy in a Regency novel: a hero who is so innocent (or absentminded) that he neglects to consummate his marriage to his demure bride. Honoria Newcombe has married Alex Blackwood for convenience, so she won’t be a financial burden to her dotty old aunts. When she discovers that she loves her unresponsive husband, a variety of misunderstandings keep them apart. The title, by the way, refers to the Blackwood estate in Sussex; from there Honoria and Alex and Alex’s sister Emily (a bidding artist) journey to London for the “season,” where Honoria is pursued by a former suitor and Alex almost falls into the clutches of a courtesan. Readers who enjoy this genre will welcome the intrigues that strew the path to the happy ending.” — Publishers Weekly

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loveinamajorkeyLove in a Major Key

Berkley, 1976

When Daphne left her family’s country estate at Verchamp Park for the season in London, it was certainly with no anticipation of romance. She soon found, however, that she had no difficulty in finding suitors–only in choosing among them. All were quite acceptable with the sole exception of Christian Livingston, the handsome and sensuous pianofortist employed by Lady Brede. Surely, little good could come of any attachment she might form for him. And yet, could propriety stand in Daphne’s way once her heart was captured? Before she can honestly answer that question, Daphne finds herself at the center of a truly delicious intrigue!

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theweddingportraitThe Wedding Portrait

Berkley, 1975

The wedding festivities were about to begin at Harkness Abbey. Lady Laura had consented to give her hand to Thaddeus Grey, whom she had known all of her life and whom she found very dear indeed. Perhaps there was some great romantic ingredient missing from their relationship, but one need not pay any heed: Thad was an attractive man and a boon companion. The wedding gifts were pouring in, and from Baron Nathaniel Lowland, an old friend of Laura’s father, came the most surprising gift of all–his son Ashley! Ashley, a painter of exquisite talent, had been sent to paint Lady Laura’s portrait. It could hardly have been expected that he would come to capture her heart as well!

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thepracticalheartThe Practical Heart

Berkley, 1975

Miss Gillian Spencer was faced with quite a challenge. Impossible was the word she gave it, but her ever-hopeful employer, the Viscount Sherbourne, would hear none of that. The facts were that the Viscount hand’s a farthing at his command, and his London house was a ruin. If his two charming and beautiful daughters were to rescue the family’s standing by marrying wealth–“making advantageous connexions,” the doggedly euphemistic Viscount would have it–Miss Spencer’s work was certainly cut out for her. At the advanced age of 27, Gillian herself had dismissed the possibility of marriage for herself, of course–but who can predict where her talent for romantic intrigue on others’ behalf might lead her?

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thetrellisedlaneThe Trellised Lane

Berkley, 1975

Edgely Hall was a lovely estate indeed, but Julia felt like a bird with clipped wings. Life was so full of adventure, she wanted to fly away and see the world for herself! And so she induced her brother Fitz to accompany her on an extended visit to the great city of London, where she might discover her heart’s destiny. But romance turns out to be such a complicated matter, as Julia finds herself the center of a circle of suitors, duelists, and intrigue!

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