Now that all the hullabaloo about Eid is over, I've got more time to sit and read a bit. Actually I have been reading, just not writing about it, mainly because I discovered a very addictive pastime - playing Angry Birds, City Story, and Empire Story on my new Ipad. I can tell you that it is very very addictive - I can sit there with my Ipad and forget about cooking or cleaning or reading for that matter! Repin comes home from work and when he sees me sitting with my Ipad he'll say - "Oh Mama is busy empire building or city building or fighting angry birds!" Which makes me feel very guilty...
Anyway now that I have a bit of time I'll just tell you all about these books I've been reading. They're about the Huxtable family which is a fairly big one. There's Constantine Huxtable, a tall, dangerously sexy and formidable guy who was the illegimate son of the Earl of Merton. He was illegitimate only by a technicality - his parents - the first Earl of Merton married his mother two days too late - and because of that he could not inherit the title and property of his own father, even though he was the first born. His second brother, who was born much later and slightly retarded, inherited the title instead. BUt his brother died early, when he was only 16 years old so the title went to a second cousin, as the only one who was a direct descendent.
The first book- First Comes Marriage is about this second cousin's family - a family of 3 young beautiful women and one handsome young man who was to become the next Earl of Merton. Elliot Wallace is a trustee of the Hustable Estate and when the young Earl of Merton dies, it is his job to look for the next heir. He is Constantine's cousin on his mother's side and actually looks very much like him - tall with dark good looks and dangerously sexy. However, due to false rumors and prejudice, he hates Con's guts and refuses to acknowledge him, even though they are cousins and had been best friends in their teenage years. After much search they manage to find the heir to the Huxtable estate and the Earl of Merton in a remote village where he found the 4 siblings living in genteel poverty, with Margaret, the most beautiful of them all and the eldest, trying her best to keep the family afloat. Stephen, who would soon be the next Earl of Merton was a mere boy at only 17 years old. Margaret was wondering how she could send her brother to Oxford to continue his studies, as a gentleman's son should. But their father - the former Vicar of Throckbridge - had so angered their grandfather by marrying their mother - his family had cut him off without a penny, or even acknowledging them. So apart from what Margaret and Kate earned from teaching at the local school, they had no means of support.In fact soon, even their cottage would no longer be theirs and Margaret was desperate enough to think of moving somewhere where she could find work.
At this stage, along comes Elliot with his announcement that their brother Stephen was in fact the new Earl of Merton and that he would not only inherit the title but also a large sum of money and an estate that was rich beyond their imagining. The only flaw was that they found Elliot arrogant and slightly condescending and that he meant to take Stephen, their baby brother away from them! So they all refused to budge, unless they all went along to the new place. Elliot, who was supposed to guide Stephen into his new role and act as mentor was forced to accept the ultimatum and finally took all of them, including the widowed Vanessa Huxtable, the second oldest sister. In fact, Elliot who was soon to be the Earl of Moreland decided to marry one of the Huxtable sisters, which one though he was not so sure, until one of them , the most audacious of them all - proposed to him!
This is one of Mary Balogh's finest books - I always love her style, which is slightly like that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer combined and really enjoyed the read. Her characters are lovable and real and the situations they find themselves in sometimes funny and hilarious. If you like Regency romances, then this is the book for you.
There are 5 books in all - First Comes Marriage, Then Comes Seduction, At last Comes Love, Seducing an Angel and finally A Secret Affair.
These books tell the stories of the three sisters, Vanessa (First Comes Marriage), Katherine (Then Comes Seduction), and Margaret (At Last Comes Love) and of their brother Stephen (Seducing an Angel) and second cousin Constantine (A Secret Affair).