Friday, March 22, 2013

Blog: Book Review of The Last Debutante


Let me start by saying I really do love me a good romance novel and I have really always enjoyed such novels by Julia London.

Until I bought The Last Debutante and about a quarter of the way through I was ready to climb the walls.

Here...let me explain.

This is the final book in the series, The Secrets of Hadley Green and that’s really a good thing.
Daria Babcock is the last debutante in all of Hadley Green – and she’s 21 years old—that’s practically on the shelf during the Regency era in England. How will she ever meet to titled lord who will want her.

As fate would have it, her grandmother is in Scotland and needs help. Her parents were going to go and leave Daria at home. But, Daria convinces them to let her and her friend Charity go. When they arrive, Charity finds a tour coach with a couple of elderly women and sends Daria on her way alone. Unhappy but resigned to find her grandmother, Daria takes the tour coach and gets dropped off, with her trunk and suitcase, on the middle of the road.

Too heavy to carry, she leaves the trunk in the road, and follows a path to find her grandmother’s cottage.

She finds the small cottage, and while her grandmother is nowhere to be found, when Daria opens the second bedroom door, she discovers a naked man in the bed. Then she learns he’s a highlander, but doesn’t learn his name is Jamie Campbell until later. He’s been shot. And Daria’s grandmother shot him!

Jamie gets rescued, but he takes Daria and holds her ransom because grandmother stole 1000 pounds from Jamie’s uncle (actually, from the Campbell Clan—and Jamie is laird of the clan).

Hmmm, is this beginning to sound familiar to you? Can you say “Outlander”?

Granted, Claire in The Outlander does a bit of time traveling from 1945 to the 18th century, which sets Diana Gabaldon's novel a step above most romance novels...well, and the fact that I think Gabaldon's novel can also be described as a work of detailed accounts of the era's Scottish clan life. Plus, Gabaldon's plot propelled by the time-travel thing.

I like Julia London’s romance novels, but I would have been a much happier if she’d been concerned enough to at least change the story line and the character’s names…Jamie, Hamish, Dougal, etc. I can’t imagine what she was thinking as she continued to write that the Campbell “laird wanted to marry the ‘Sassenach’ even though he knows he has to his clan.

View all my reviews at Goodreads: