|All Through the Night
This sounded so good! A Regency romance starring a cat burglar who steals from the rich to give to the poor while a shadowy figure tries to capture her – how could it go wrong? Oh so many ways.
Let’s start with the tone of the book, which never quite decided what kind of book it was. Was it a romance? Technically, I guess so, although I wasn’t feeling any heat between the main characters. Was it a thriller? Nope, not even close because there is never any real feeling of danger. Georgette Heyer, the queen of Regency, wrote more thrilling books without having to put anyone in the role of either spy or cat burglar. Then there are the side characters who are, without exception, unpleasant. Even the devoted, ex-soldier manservant is a bit of a jerk. The heroine’s young cousin is a selfish tramp. The hero’s best “friend” is a cad. No one in this book is remotely likable, not even the main characters.
The book fails most at being a Regency romance. The trappings are barely there but the feeling and nuance of the Regency period are completely missing. For example, Anne is a terrible chaperone. She’s too caught up in all of her own adventures to keep an eye on her charge. While she’s off playing cat and mouse games with Jack, her cousin is off boinking every man she meets. It doesn’t matter if you care about the Regency attitudes about sex and propriety or not, the characters should care, and they just don’t.
The pacing is odd and things feel dragged out beyond all reason. The ridiculous ending just capped off a generally disappointing book. I won’t be reading anything else by this author.
Three disillusioned stars.