THE LAST FROST FAIR by Joy Freemen

THE LAST FROST FAIR

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A plodding, talky Regency romance--in which two lovers explain and re-explain to one another why they do what they have done to one another with the best of intentions and just why they have misunderstood one another. Madeleine St. Cross has to make a good marriage because deceased Papa gambled away the family estate. So the family has been secretly turning out ladies' bonnets to sponsor the beautiful Madeleine for a Season. Then: enter Major Jack Ashton, a mere unmonied spy in Wellington's intelligence service. He loves. She loves. But, unable to let the family down, Madeleine weds French aristocrat Baron de Beauvoir, a refugee from Napoleon's France who--to Madeleine's surprise and relief--has no interest in consummating the marriage. (Handsome, snaky Charles Morland, who arranges the match, expects to get bedroom privileges, however.) Meanwhile, jilted Jack never quite gets the point; nonetheless he rescues Madeleine from a plunge into the icy Thames, which leads to sex, squabbles, and more sex. And things look grand when Napoleon is finally Elba-ed and the Baron disappears. But then Madeleine is arrested for treason (as the wife of a spying Bonapartist); there's a muddle of letters and messages, a confession, a near-fatal interview with the real villain, trips to France and Belgium. And finally, after learning that Jack has found a fianc‚e in the West Indies, Madeleine becomes engaged to a Duc--leading to more spats, more misunderstandings, and lots more explanations. To an ever greater extent than Freemen's claustrophobic 1980 debut in A Suitable Match: yak yak yak.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1985
Publisher: St. Martin's