Sunday, May 15, 2011

Scandal at the Farmhouse

Through Book Blogs, I met Cody Young and was presented the opportunity to read her novella, Scandal at the Farmhouse. I accepted because I'm a fan of Regency Romance. In fact, I had a personal stake in reading her story. The Back-Scratch-Tango, as it were. If I read her story, maybe she could give me pointers with my own RR. I still hope so--more than before--but I also want to encourage other fans of romance to check out this author.

I'm not going to summarize the plot. At the end I'll include a link to her publisher's description. It's an excellent tease with just enough of the right information. Why re-invent the wheel?

So what will I talk about? Cody's success taking me, the reader, on a journey. Recently, I've read a few manuscripts (published ones, in fact) that were less than stellar. Until reading this clean manuscript, I wasn't aware I'd grown skeptical, bracing myself for another writer more enthusiastic than polished. Cody is an excellent writer. Not once did she remove me from the story with non-period language or convoluted sentence structure. Her tempo is well paced for a novella, something I admired immediately. Her understanding of Regency Romance is excellent. Her lovers, Clara and Ned, are delightful and the story is lively.

Scandal at the Farmhouse is a tender romance that sucked me in. It was exactly what I expected it to be in terms of place, setting, manners, language, and love. Her heroine is feisty but sheltered. Her hero rough, but naturally a gentleman. Because it is a novella, these two characters are the most thoroughly drawn. However, you glean that Clara's parents, while seemingly arrogant and stereotypical at first, may have a deeper well of humanity if we only had a chance to know them. And the elder sister? That was what made me want a full novel. Her story was tantalizingly out of reach while at the same time coloring Clara's understanding of the world, her dreams, and ultimately her choices.

My only complaint is that Cody Young wrote a novella. This could easily be a sweeping Regency novel of complex overlapping motivations. As far as complaints go, that is a compliment to the author.

At 62 pages, Scandal at the Farmhouse is a fast read that I highly recommend. You can read the story's description here.  I also suggest Cody's blog. In one of her posts, she raises a fantastic romance question--read on to discover what.

I look forward to reading Cody's American Smile and Hot Property. The breadth of her romance writing style appeals to me and I know I'll enjoy her clean writing.