THE WAYWARD SEASON by Virginia S. Gunn


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Regency froth which most of the time sags with flat characters and flatter talk. Olivia Kingsley, beautiful and of impeccable lineage, does her second London season, and has been attracted to lively, only slightly rakehellish Haydon Ashcroft--one of the four young London gents (Lord Richard Longmeadow, Jack Whalesby, Lucius Gilmore) whose love quests here will have happy conclusions. Jack is unsuitably enamored of lusty Sophie, whom Haydon pretends to court to draw off Jack. There's a duel in which both attempt to shoot into the trees (Olivia is outraged). And also eyeing Olivia is the dreadful Captain Lowe--and low he is, as he plans for an abduction with the help of two of Olivia's nasty cousins. But the abduction goes awry, and the Captain (""with madness in his little eyes"") takes a more direct route by making a cursing, screaming lunge at Olivia. He is finally brought down by assembled ladies and gallants of all ages--and run through by Haydon, after which pairings and general celebrations ensue. Great swathes of idling chat about shops and scandals, balls and beaus--but it's pallid stuff and uncommonly slow.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1980
Publisher: Doubleday