Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Toblethorpe Manor by Carola Dunn

Finding myself recently in need of a very quiet day of convalescence (OH said I must have been ill, because I hadn't read anything for almost 24 hours), I turned to the Kindle in search of something soothing. Happily, an earlier trawl had turned up the information that Carola Dunn, in addition to the Daisy Dalrymple series, was the author of a long list of regency romances. Just the thing, I reckoned.

My first foray into the list, Toblethorpe Manor, did not disappoint. Richard Carstairs, the rather aloof owner of a substantial property in Yorkshire, finds a young woman lying injured on the moors, evidently thrown from her horse, and concussed. Quelling his momentary qualms, he takes her home to his family, where they discover that she remembers nothing of her past. Lady Annabel, Richard's mother, takes to the young woman, however, while his sister Lucy sees Clara Fell, as they call her, as a romantic heroine, probably escaping from nameless Gothic horrors or oppressors. From there the story unfolds in familiar Georgette Heyer style, coach journeys, London season and all.

One of the qualities which Dunn shares with Heyer is the ability to create genuinely likeable people - even the relatively minor characters such as the agent Mr Dennison and his comfortable wife are warm and attractive. The pleasure afforded by the Daisy Dalrymple series is to be found here also, and I'm delighted to have acquired  a new source of comfort reading for those days when it's necessary. If they fall a little short of the deliciousness of Heyer, they still offer the chance of a couple of hours of escape. If you're not being ill then a cup of your favourite tea and a packet of chocolate biscuits should prove an excellent addition.


  1. I already love Daisy Dalrymple, so thanks for recommending these as well.

  2. How nice to find a 'proper' Heyer-alike,I must look out for her. So many Regencies are hyped as 'the new GH' and are pretty dire! One of the best Regencies I've read is The Heywood Inheritance by Catherine Fellows, published in the 70s. Don't know anything about the author and wonder if she's still writing.
    And Jan Jones writes jolly romps in her Newmarket Regency series, perfect for curling up with!

  3. There used to be a time when I read every Georgette Heyer book I could lay my hands on, and from your description, this one sounds just like something I would enjoy, too.

  4. I haven't read Carola Dunn still yet, but this sounds a little more up my alley than the Daisy Dalrymple books. Moors are brilliant! (I'm trying to stop myself from saying something about more moors. :p)

  5. Loved Georgette Heyer as a young person, and recently re-read a couple and remembered why. Carola Dunn goes on the list!