An Affair of Honor: A Regency Romance, by Candice Hern – A Review

The Regency Romance Reading Challenge (2013)This is my third selection in the Regency Romance Reading Challenge 2013, our celebration of Regency romance author Candice Hern. We will be reading all of her traditional Regencies over the next nine months, discussing her characters, plots and Regency history. You can still join the reading challenge until July 1, 2013. Participants, please leave comments and or links to your reviews for this month in the comment section of this post.

My Review:

An English gentleman lived by a code of honor, but does that also apply to rakes? Even if he is a gentleman by birth do his actions make the man? An Affair of Honor plays on that premise in an amusing way.

After being thrown from his curricle and hitting his head, Colin Herriot, Viscount Sedgewick thinks he sees an angel hovering over him, so he must be dead. Better angels than devils; though his capricious life and rakish ways should equal the later. The figure dons coppery curls and creamy skin so he must be in heaven.

Cradled gently in her arms, Meg Ashburton recognizes the injured traveler immediately as Lord Sedgewick whom she met six years prior during her London Season of 1808. She was a gangly debutante imitating a wallflower. He was a handsome rake with an infamous smile and scandalous reputation. He gallantly asked her to dance. She was smitten. She would never forget the handsome, charming man who showed a kindness to one who others of his station would not give the time of day. She doubted that he remembered her.

Meg and her brother Terrence rescue Sedge and bring him to their home, Thornhill, a horse breeding farm not far away from the scene of the accident. His head injury and broken leg bring on a serious fever which engulfs him for days. Letters are sent to his family and soon Cousin Albert Herriot arrives to see him improving, well cared for, but bedridden until his leg mends. Sedge is unconcerned when Terrence tells him that the axel of his curricle was purposely cut. Who could possibly want to harm him? He truly believes that it was just an accident.

After her disastrous debut season six years ago, Meg has had no interest in men and does not realize the beautiful woman that she has become. Sedge does, and is immediately attracted to her. She enjoys their time together as she helps care for him during his convalescence. She hopes he might propose. Cousin Bertie sees the attraction building between Meg and his cousin and tells Terrence that Sedge is not the marrying kind. Meg overhears his warning to her brother and the reality check hits her hard, so hard that when Sedge decides to propose she believes that he is playing true to form as the consummate rake and wants to engage her as his mistress and not his wife. This misunderstanding separates them brusquely and he returns to London a sullen man totally baffled by her refusal. She is totally offended by his dishonorable proposal. “He wanted her for his mistress. He could not have been more plain. He wanted her body and was willing to pay for it. What a fool she had been!

This is the third novel in the Regency Rakes Trilogy and I am sure it is no surprise that all three heroes in the series meet their match and fall in love; these novels are romances after all. Each of the stories is connected through the friendship of the three men: Robert Cameron in A Proper Companion, Jack Raeburn in A Change of Heart and Colin Herriot in An Affair of Honor. Each are aristocratic libertine’s who have seduced women, gambled, drank, and avoided romance for many years, yet each in their own way are changed by the love of a woman.

Image of the book cover of An Affair of Honor, by Candice Hern (2012)Colin, or “Sedge” to his friends, is the last holdout of the group. The story opens brilliantly with the scene of the carriage accident and renewed acquaintance with Meg, an unlikely heroine who does not realize the power of her beauty or the charm of her own personality. It is a stark contrast to our hero who knows exactly the effect of his charms and plays them like a masterful musician. We don’t trust him, nor do we trust Meg’s inexperienced judgment. It is a perplexing misalliance.

The characterizations in An Affair of Honor are articulated and engaging. Hern gave herself a big challenge by confining the hero to his sickbed for half of the novel. To compensate we are given a generous helping of inner exposition, so be prepared for a slower pace. There is an interesting mystery that threads its way through the story which, though predictable, was intriguing. I was hoping for an Agatha Christie-like twist at the end, but we do get our share of romance. Huzzah indeed! “…he was a cad, she was a fool…” but who isn’t when it comes to love?

4 out of 5 Regency Stars

An Affair of Honor: A Regency Romance by Candice Hern
CreateSpace (2012)
Trade paperback (278) pages
ISBN: 978-1479164844

A Grand Giveaway

Author Candice Hern has generously offered one print copy or one digital copy of An Affair of Honor to one lucky winner. Leave a comment stating what intrigues you about this novel, or if you have read it, who your favorite character is by midnight PT, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Winner to be announced on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Print book shipment to US addresses only. Digital copy delivery internationally. Good luck!

Book cover image courtesy © Candice Hern 2012; text © 2013 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

30 thoughts on “An Affair of Honor: A Regency Romance, by Candice Hern – A Review

  1. Having read and loved A Proper Companion, I now have an idea what author Candice Hern is all about. I’ve read many historical romances following this time-tested formula of the modest and doesn’t-know-she-is-beautiful heroine who is attracted to the reforming rogue of a hero. Seems I never get tired of them either and the author’s style is a ‘cut above.’ An excellent and enticing review. Kindle version has an affordable price too!

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  2. I keep trying to either speed up this challenge or slow down my reading. Each new book I read by Candice Hern draws me to the next. While the premise of each is predictable the characters are not. Hern’s characters are lively with the unmistakable twinkle of something not only in their eye but in their interactions with each other. These books are “fun” and entertaining.

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  3. I too was enchanted by this story, and especially liked the slow development of their relationship while Meg and her grandmother nursed their patient back to health. Loved the sparkling dialogues and growing attachment… In fact, that was my favorite part, and I felt a bit disappointed in the bungled proposal scene, actually. I found Meg endearing and charming and loved her transformation from a wall flower to the bell of the ton! I also appreciated her relationship with her grandmother and brother. When I began the story, I was immediately struck by the similarities with part of a story in Georgette Heyer’s “The Quiet Gentleman” and had the pleasure of re-reading that as well after finishing Candice Hern’s delightful story! I would recommend that as a consolation to the devastation of having the story come to a close. :-)

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  4. This novel sounds captivating and lovely. The characters and the dilemma are unique and wonderfully portrayed. It would be an experience to read and savor this story and feel their emotions.

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  5. Lovely review, Laurel Ann. This was another story I LOVED so much. Sedge and Meg were two characters that I adored. At first I was a little frustrated with the misunderstanding during the proposal scene but I guess it only made their love story that much sweeter. And I enjoyed the mystery that was woven in, but it did have me yelling at Sedge a few times to wake up and see what was happening around him!! Thanks for the giveaway!!=)

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  6. I’d love to read this book; firstly because I love a reformed rake, secondly because the dash of intrigue interests me and thirdly because of the red-haired heroine!

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  7. I have never read this, but I am intrigued by the idea of a mostly internal exposition throughout the book. Not many books come across that way nor introduce their main characters or heroes in that way. That would be interesting to read especially as the characters fall in love. To sum up, I am intrigued and would love to read it!

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  8. I’d love to read this book! I’ve already read at least one of her books and quite liked it. I only skimmed the review because I know I will want to read it. I like it when a heroine starts out unaware of her natural gifts and then starts to feel beautiful.

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  9. I would like to know who the culprit is, the one who cause the mishap to Sedge. Please add my name to the giveaway because Regency romance is one of my favourite reads.

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  10. Laurel Ann I’m enjoying these books by Candice Hern. This particular trilogy I read all at once. I loved the idea of the mystery thrown into the romance with all the trials and tribulations. Anyway I am leaving my review here.

    This is the 3rd book in the Regency Rakes Trilogy.
    The book starts off with Lord Colin Sedgwick in a carriage accident and as he’s coming in and out of unconsciousness and he sees what he thinks is an angel. Of course it’s not an angel but Ms. Meg Ashburton who has come along and found him and has him transported to her brothers estate. She recognizes Lord Sedgwick immediately. How could she not? Her first and only season in London was a disaster and the only gentleman to dance with her was him!! Meg fell in love with him all those years ago when he danced with her and now he was at her home. She knows that nothing will come of it because he is handsome and titled. She is 6ft tall, ugly with red hair. He cannot possible give two thoughts about her. Anyway Meg and her Grandma nurse him back to health. While he is staying there they find out that someone tampered with his carriage and so now they have a little mystery on there hands. This story was filled with lots of misunderstanding, angst and a mystery to solve before our hero and heroine can find each other. Again this was a wonderful easy read with a Cinderella ending. Just loved it!!

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  11. I am enjoying the books in this challenge as well. I think the connection of characters in the first three has made them even more fun to read. Meg was one of my favorite characters because you could see her as a gawky, tall,redheaded young lady in her first season and just retreating from the ton.
    I am sorry to see the rakes trilogy end!

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  12. So glad to say that I have read and highly enjoyed all three of these books!
    As for “An Affair of Honor”, my favorite was Gram. SO normal. So caring.

    I will be rereading these soon! Thanks Candice for these lovely books that I can lose myself into!

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  13. Looking forward to reading a regency romance again. I tried a Georgette Heyer years ago and this review has prompted me to delve in again. It looks as if I am in for a treat. I like the thought of reading the inner thoughts of the invalid Sedge as he recovers from his accident and it intrigues me to see how the author can weave in a mystery too.

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  14. Loved the series, hated to see it end. This is what happens when we become involved with the characters. Hern has done it again by writing characters that draw one in. I knew that Meg and I would be great friends (Well, if she were actually a real person). Thank you, Ms. Hern for the friendship.

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  15. Loved this story and especially loved Gram (as usual). It’s great that Hern seems to acklnowledge that wisdom (sometimes) comes with age, since that has been apparent in all three of this series. It initially disturbed me that Meg was so foolish as not to question Sedge about his proposal, but the misunderstanding certainly enhanced the plot. Also liked the mystery about Sedge’s “accidents,” but must say that I suspected the right culprit all along. Guess that comes of years of reading Regency romances. I’m definitely now a fan of Candice Hern!

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  16. Meg intrigues me. She will have to be won over to fall in love with Lord Sedgewick. This is my kind of read. Thanks for having this contest.

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  17. Thanks, everyone, for all the kind words about this book. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it! I am delighted to have found new readers, and am eternally grateful to Laurel Ann for choosing my books in this years Regency Reading Challenge. You are all inspiring me to get the next Regency finished! :-)

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  18. I do like a story with a tamed rake… I’m interested to see how she handles the romance when one of them is bedridden. And thank you so much for the giveaway!

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  19. I really enjoyed watching Meg develop some self confidence in this story. It didn’t seem like a slower pace to me but perhaps I enjoyed the internal discussions — seemed more Austen-like, I think.

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  20. I especially liked Meg and enjoyed watching her develop self confidence. I didn’t find the pace slow but perhaps I enjoyed the internal discussions in this third book of the trilogy.

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  21. I am interested in this book largely because of the odd phenomenon of modern authors writing into the style and tropes of Regency literature. It’s fascinating, and I think it’s brilliant when it’s truly done well. Although I have yet to have the pleasure of reading any of Ms. Hern’s works, it sounds from yours reviews that she has done just that. Also, what’s not to love about the story of a rakish lad coming into a conscience through true love?

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  22. Pingback: Giveaway Winner Announced for An Affair of Honor | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

  23. Pingback: Announcing the Regency Romance Reading Challenge 2013: Featuring Candice Hern | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

  24. The perfect end to a perfect trilogy. Poor Sedge – charming and oblivious at the same time. I thought it was wonderful that Meg was made so singularly unlike the rest of the ton. Even though I figured out “who did it” I loved getting there. I can’t imagine Sedge or Meg with anyone else.

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