Jane Toombs has written a colorful tale
set in Regency England. Celeste Prescott takes a position as
companion to Rowena, lovely daughter of the predatory Mrs.
Gordon. The two girls soon become friends. Rowena is in love
with dashing Prince Lothar and they plan to marry. But his
father engages aristocratic rake Lord Campion to put an end to
such an improper alliance. Prince Lothar must marry the lady
to whom he was betrothed in childhood.
Celeste and Roderic, Lord Campion meet as
adversaries. Against her better judgment, Celeste initially
agrees to help Lord Campion break up the young couple’s
romance, but it all goes horribly wrong. Celeste realizes she
is falling in love with the cold-hearted Lord Campion. Ms.
Toombs is an accomplished writer, and her prose style uses
many of the colloquialisms we have come to expect of the
period. Indeed the foreign king is rather proud of his English
vocabulary and makes use of it excessively, which adds a touch
of humor to the tale.
My only complaint is that the story
begins rather slowly. I urge the reader not to give up too
soon. The intricate plot picks up pace, all the cogs start to
fall neatly into their allotted place and the temptation is to
read the last few pages far too quickly! An Improper
Alliance provides a pleasant read for anyone who
enjoys Regency tales.