OK, I’ve got to admit, I LOVE Regencies. Really. That’s why I wrote one. And I recently had the opportunity to read a marvelous tale by Janet Mullany, The Malorie Phoenix. If you like feisty heroines, and a good, rollicking Regency tale, visit http://www.janetmullany.com/
Jenny Smith is not your average heroine, despite her average name. A skilled pickpocket, her first encounter with Benedict de Malorie has unexpected results. The loss of a treasured family heirloom deprives de Malorie of his intended bride, but brings Jenny the unexpected gift: a child. Desperate and ill, she leaves her daughter Sarah with her father.
Years later, Jenny is approached by two men with a daring scheme: impersonate the long-lost daughter of a wealthy family just long enough for the lady to return to England and her proper place. Despite her misgivings, Jenny agrees, knowing the payment will allow her to search for her daughter.
The impersonation leads both Jenny and Benedict down unexpected and dangerous paths. Jenny’s love for Benedict is only exceeded by the exquisite torture she endures being near her daughter yet unable to reveal herself. For Benedict, trusting the former pickpocket is almost impossible, despite his desperate desire for her.
In The Malorie Phoenix, Janet Mullany has crafted an extraordinary tale with unique and complex characters. The heartrending decisions Jenny Smith is faced with reach deep into the heart, while Benedict de Malorie’s frustration, desire, and mistrust weave a continual misunderstanding between the pair.
The vivid portrayal of poor heroine doing what she needs to survive, coupled with a hero rebuilding his happiness from the ground up has certainly been done before. Yet Mullany’s unexpected twists on the expected Regency plot, her delightful characterizations, and most of all, the continuous symphony of emotions bring the tale to life in a fresh, new way.