PRACTICE TO DECEIVE by Patricia Veryan


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The author of the so-so period-romance chronicle The Sanguinet Saga begins here a new series set in Georgian England in 1746. This is essentially an escape-and-chase tale which joggles along amid flutterings of the heart, the growling of villains, and sentimental reunions. Even at 15, Penelope Montgomery, daughter of Fifth Baron Delvale, knew ""her heart was given"" when she first saw Quenton Chandler, son of her father's good friend Sir Brian. The next time she sees Quenton, five years later, he is being beaten to a pulp, in her own home, by Penelope's sinister suitor Captain Otten and her wicked uncle Joseph, who after the deaths of Penelope's father and her brother Geoffrey, has taken over the title of Delvale. Otten and Lord Joseph want to know from Quenton, a fugitive Jacobite, the location of the treasure collected for the invasion planned by Bonnie Prince Charlie in Scotland. Brave Penelope, having met Quenton's brother Gordon--who although not a Jacobite wants to rescue his brother--manages to spirit Quenton to her room, using a secret passage. She has the help of Quenton's loyal aide, Corporal Killiam, and her own maid, Daffy. There follow anxious days of hiding, nursing Quenton, and subterfuge; then later on-the-estate and on-the-road disguises and deceptions--including Quenton's masquerade as an elderly distant Delvale relative, whose robost attributes are appreciated by beautiful, mean and lusty Lady Sybil. The daredevil Quenton and Penelope evade Troopers, spies, a duel, and a gun battle (Daffy's canary fortunately perches on the gun barrel). Finally, the pair meet up with friends and family, who rally round even though they deplore Quenton's political preferences. And love, tamped down for a lengthy spell, flares happily at the close. Too many frills and coy sentiments for tight action or suspense, but the Sanguinet following may want to get on board for the first in this new series titled The Golden Chronicles.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1985
Publisher: St. Martin's