Thoughts about Tangled Web by Lee Rowan
Just finished reading Tangled Web, and I have to say the RP books make one classy series! Tangled Web is the least melodramatic of the four books, but I like it for that. There’s a proper Regency restraint and elegance about it. In their own ways, the 17th Century, the Georgian period and the Victorian period were all prone to over-ripe emotions and big displays of angst and violence. But the Regency was a time when subtlety was the order of the day, and Tangled Web sometimes reminds me of one of those excellent adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, where volumes of emotion and social criticism can be read from the lifting of an eyebrow.
This is Lee Rowan at her finest, I think, with the great storytelling of Ransom combined with the restraint and irony of Gentleman’s Gentleman and applied to another couple where deep and true feelings have to be barely hinted at in public, but you’re left in no doubt that in private they are fathomless and very sweet. This has a complex plot you can get your teeth into, smugglers, scandalous gentlemen’s clubs, blackmail, horses, and even a sub-plot about Brendan’s sister’s wedding which made me think of a Georgette Heyer novel. But I think the best part is the protagonists. I never had any doubt that both of them were the kind of people I would be proud to meet in real life (not always something you can say of romance heroes!). They were so honest and decent, and so transparently in love with each other it warmed the cockles of my heart.