So another advantage of the Kindle is that, no matter what you’re reading, it never has a lurid pink cover. Which means that I could go ahead and read a romance novel like Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I without having to make sure the cover was discreetly out of sight.

The book suffers — a lot — from being read quickly after a Jane Austen novel, because it’s in a very similar genre, but of course it’s not even close to as good. It’s like reading Tolkien and The Sword of Shannara in quick succession, only with fewer Dark Lords and maybe more rings.

Taken on its own terms, it’s a lightly enjoyable piece of fluff, but it features, inevitably(?), remarkably horrid gender politics. Fortunately, it’s set in the 19th century, so I can just tell myself it’s all period stuff (even while knowing darn well that a lot of moderns — including, I suspect, the author — would have no problem with most of it), but that slightly icky feeling does put a damper on the enjoyability. I don’t suppose there are any explicitly feminist Regency romances out there?


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