That statement is true, but it’s not quite the realization of a goal that it might seem. The book is Miss Hungerford’s Handsome Hero by Noël Vreeland Carter. My husband found it on the internet and bought it for me. He is certainly my handsome hero.
The book was published by Dell’s Candlelight Regency imprint in 1981. Sadly, there is no ebook version on it. I have had to grit my teeth and read the tiny print while holding the book in my sore, tired hands. After only a few chapters, I found the story to be good enough to endure these ills.
Ms. Carter writes a traditional Regency, but there are touches that make the whole thing sparkle. Charlotte Hungerford, her heroine, is a writer! What a coincidence. Of course, the men in her life consider her scribbles as a fluffy bit of fiction that keeps her busy until a man will come along and marry her.
She has a nephew who is blessed with a name that makes me laugh every time it is written out. Luckily he is mostly called Bucky. His last name is Vane, with the story unfolding that his mother, Charlotte’s sister, is a bit of a light-skirt, having produced offspring of differing lineage and known as the various Vanes. Bucky, the heir, is obviously his father’s get and so called the Invariable Vane. Do you know this is actually based on a true Regency fact? I did and I love that it was used here.
The hero also comes as a surprise. He’s Irish and Chinese. Yes, Chinese! Not a Shaolin Monk but still pretty unusual and inscrutable. Yes, the author went there. He’s very smart. He really is a very unusual character and at the same time, carries a hint of stereotypes. He’s rich, titled, and has an estate in Ireland called Moondragon. Sigh.
The supporting characters are all varied and true to the time period. The use of the Duke of Cumberland is well done. He would be one of those odd characters that stand out. He traveled enough to have encountered a character like the hero.
For this blog, I looked up Ms. Noel Vreeland Carter and discovered she spent 11 years married to Lin Carter. Any fans of Tolkien will recognize that name. One might think a marriage of two authors would be wonderful and last forever. Especially as one writes Romances. Sadly, Noel chose to leave Lin but they remained friends for the rest of his life. She had his ashes in her home. I can’t find much about her in present day and no publications for years, but I certainly hope she is happy and well in a beautiful house.
I will certainly finish this novel and perhaps add a footnote here as to the happy ending. I see Ms. Carter has a subsequent book titled Moondragon, which takes place in Ireland on a mysterious “oriental” estate. That’s something I look forward to reading.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.