Tuesday, June 17, 2008

An Early Engagement by Barbara Metzger

Stop the presses.

I read a book and thoroughly enjoyed it.

What’s so unusual about that, you say? I’m an easy sell, you think. I like almost all of the books I read, you remember. Well, time to revise your preconceived notions about me.

This book was completely sans smut.

Shocked? I knew you would be.

This story is so engaging and well-written that I didn’t even mind the omission. There is interesting character development, a fair amount of intrigue and suspense, enough English history to supply a realistic background setting, and lots of sexual tension to make up for the lack of actual…well, the real thing.

Everett Stockton, Viscount Stokely is introduced to his betrothed at age six. The lady in question, Lady EmilyAnn Arcott, is barely six months old. This tidy arrangement is their fathers’ idea, a marriage destined to unite a duke’s only daughter and an earl’s first born son for the monetary benefit of both families.

But as they say, things happen and the alliance between the two families is all but forgotten as the youngsters, although fast and furious friends growing up, are separated by boarding school, military service and unfortunate family circumstance. It is only when Lady EmilyAnn finds herself in desperate straights does she seek help from her childhood hero. And Captain Lord Stokely, the gentleman and real-life hero that he is, comes valiantly to her rescue, taking pity on the poor disheveled ragamuffin, all of sixteen, standing before him.

The plot thickens; the ensuing marriage between these two is unconventional, to say the least. Sparrow (Everett’s nickname for EmilyAnn) is left to oversee the restoration of Smokey’s (EmilyAnn’s nickname for Everett) estate and coffers, using her own money, stubborn determination and a knack for finding good investments. The Captain, now a Major, is off fighting Bonaparte, his pride sorely bruised at having his inheritance maintained and his family managed by his hoydenish child-bride. But there are a few surprises in store for Smokey upon his return to England. And that’s when the fun really begins.

I cheered for the Lady and I lusted after the Lord (my typical pattern, I’m not ashamed to admit) and I turned page after page, not able to put the book down. Barbara Metzger’s writing is flawless and I enjoyed her style immensely. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something joyous to read. Even without the sex.

Aren’t you proud?

1 comment:

  1. Good book even without the sex. Definitely a feel good read!