Title: A Matter of Class
Author: Mary Balogh
Publisher: Vanguard Press 2010
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Summer Romance - Historical
Reginald Masson is wealthy refined and by all accounts, a gentleman. However, he is not a gentleman by birth, a factor that pains him and his father. Bernard Mason, with the Regency society that upholds station love all else. That is, until an opportunity for social advancement arises, namely, Lady Annabelle Ashton. Daughter of the Earl of Havercroft, a neighbor and enemy of the Mason family, Annabelle finds herself disgraced by a scandal, one that has left her branded as damaged goods. Besmirched by shame, the earl is only too happy to marry Annabelle off to anyone willing to have her.
Though Bernard wishes to use Annabelle to propel his family up the social ladder, his son does not to marry her, preferring instead to live as the wild, single life he is accustomed to. With this, Bernard serves his son an ultimatum: marry Annabelle, or make do without family funds. Having no choice, Reginald consents and enters into a hostile engagement in which the prospective bride and groom are openly antagonistic, each one resenting the other for their current state of affairs while their respective fathers revel in their suffering.
A most enjoyable read!!! Definitely a most read for fans of Regency romance novels. Usually I find faults with historical romance. Often there are the tired cliches: the rake, the virginal damsel, the villainous cad, the overbearing governess/sister/mother/aunt. Thankfully, those weren't present here. Well not really. Balogh does a wonderfully job at introducing the reader to what seem to be the standard characters. These characters are anything but standard. The books begins like a cliche, but we start to see something more going on. There's a nice weaving of present and flashbacks. The characters, all of them, are intriguing. The books isn't filled with unnecessary sex scenes. overall its a great read. I don't want to give too much of the plot away... so I'll just say that I recommend to fans of good historical romance!