Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Bridal Quest by Candace Camp

First off, big thank you to Kimber An for inviting me to join the ever expanding Enduring Romance team. I'm excited about it. Why? Because I love, love, love romance. Any excuse to talk about it is a-ok with me.

Despite averaging about a novel a day, I can count the number of romance novels on my keeper shelf on my fingers. That's why I am thrilled and a bit shocked to be adding one already in 2008.

That novel is, of course, The Bridal Quest by Candace Camp.

The story doesn't sound all that special. A lady, having grown up with an abusive brute of a father, swears never to marry. A lord, having been abandoned on the streets, tries to leave behind his working class life and fit in with high society. To do that, he is looking for a wife.

Been there, done that, right?

Wrong. Every time my brain went on auto-read, Candace Camp gave it a jolt of the unexpected. Sure, Gideon, the hero has the ability to do real damage to any baddies but he also has a wicked sense of humor, constantly teasing his rather dour relatives. Sure, the heroine's sister-in-law is predictably selfish but she also parts with a prized possession to help the heroine.

And what I love most of all about The Bridal Quest is that I UNDERSTAND the immediate attraction between Gideon and the heroine Irene. It goes far past the flimsy physical explanation most romances give. Gideon is the only eligible noble to have seen Irene's not-so-dear departed father at his worst. Irene is likely the only eligible lady to have met Gideon first in his working class environment. They don't have to pretend with each other. They are comfortable. They show their true selves. They fall in love.

There are so many questions to be answered. What happened to Gideon's mother? Why didn't his father look for him? Who is the mysterious Dora? What is going on between the Duke and the matchmaker?

This book is the second in a series, the first being The Marriage Wager, but each book can be read alone. I know. I read The Bridal Quest first. The heat rating is sensual.


Kimber An said...

Nicely done, K. BRIDAL QUEST sounds like a good novel to take along whenever you have something boring to do, like wait in line at the DMV. Uh, wait, for the DMV, better take BRIDAL QUEST and MARRIAGE WAGER too.

You know, I love Historicals, but I really never understood the appeal of Regencies. Sure, I like romance set in that time period, but why is that time period sooooo special that it has it's own sub-genre?

Jill Sorenson said...

I love Candace Camp and I haven't read one of hers in awhile. Thanks for the review.

Appeal of Regencies? Why, starched cravats, snug-fitting breeches, and polished black Hessians, of course! The ladies clean up nice too. I also enjoy a witty bit of dialogue, a staple of the genre. Upper crust accent or cockney twang, I love it all.

Robyn said...

I adore Candace Camp. I'll have to add these to the TBR.

Regencies? I suppose because I was fed a steady diet of Austen and Heyer. All those complex passions locked in a shell of formality and manners, with shattering consequences for those who break out- love it, love it.

Kimber An said...

Well, I like them all right, but I was fed on a steady diet of Star Trek.
;) You haven't lived until you've heard HAMLET performed in original Klingon, yanno.

Robyn said...

You haven't lived until you've been to a Trekkie convention where two drunks are squirting each other with fire extinguishers, yelling, "You Klingon bastard, you killed my son!"

Sorry, K. Kind of hijacked your post there. Live long and prosper.

Kimber An said...


(I think that means 'Success!')

I've been to one Star Trek convention. They don't come to Alaska often. Unfortunately, none of the Klingons got schnockered.

Anonymous said...

(Blushing) Might have been to a few Trek Conventions in my life. I do NOT dress up though. I draw my geek girl line there.

I think Regencies stand for something bigger than the time period. It is the type of book we expect with Regencies. The heroine (if never wed) will be an innocent. The hero will be a rake. There will be some witty dialogue between the two. What I like most about Regencies (excluding the ones with widows) is the forced delay between meeting and doing the wild thing. I can ease into the relationship.

Every type of romance has expectations. Like how we expect some sort of alien/space travel in sci fi romances and at least one shoot 'em up in Western romances.

Kimber An said...

'Tis true about genre/subgenre expectations.

Personally, I love to play dress-up, but I draw the line at funny foreheads!

Anonymous said...

I always wanted Spock ears
and of course that haircut.
Ohhh... baby!

Kimber An said...

Spock is an icon, but Tuvok looked best with his shirt off.