The English Witch by Loretta Chase (Amazon Link)
I haven’t loved a book so much and yet been more irritated with it.
This is one of Chase’s first books and you can tell right off that she’s a brilliant, charismatic, and cerebral writer—one of my favs. Her wit and intellect shatters every sentence, especially when she drops gut-busting bombs like this beauty:
“Her experience of idle, upper-class English gentlemen had led her to conclude that they were exemplars of the evils of inbreeding and, in short, not very bright.”
How can you not love her with gems like that?!
There are a few problems with narrating dialogue instead of actually writing it out. This doesn’t make for a lack of fabulous discourse, simply not enough of it, especially when this gifted author has compressed pages of witty dialogue into a few fleeting paragraphs. This makes me shudder as a writer and a reader. It feels like a betrayal of the written word and to stories in general. Melodramatic I may sound but the editor and publisher did a huge disservice to these characters, the story, and most importantly, denied an author her ability to tell the story.
The biggest complaint is that there is absolutely no sex and very little kissing, and never has a book needed a rewrite more. Well, apparently, traditional regency romance novels do not include sex (I don’t read them). Well, okay, but still this book requires it—Basil and Alexandra and the oozing massive amounts of chemistry dripping off each page demand vivid hot sex scenes with lots of lush kissing. Not only that, they beg for more of those priceless scenes that make one howl with laughter, or grin so hard your cheeks hurt.
Yes, there is humor amongst these pages. It sneaks up on you and crushes you with adoration, which makes you wanna pinch their cheeks. It is that disgustingly delicious.
How in the world an editor read this book and thought ‘regency with no sex’ is beyond me. There have never been characters that begged for a 400-500 page thoroughly exhausting tale filled with all the goodies. I urge Chase not to shuffle off this mortal coil without delivering a much-needed rewrite for these exquisite characters and their beautiful story! Please!
© 2023 Matilda London/Pamela Gay Mullins
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