Estara's Reviews > Memory of Morning

Memory of Morning by Susan Sizemore
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Apr 10, 12

bookshelves: ebook, read-in-2012
Recommended to Estara by:
Recommended for: read it as one strong woman's historical fantasy - not as a romance
Read from April 03 to 04, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** If you don't read this as a romance but as historically-based alternate world fantasy it works quite well - I give it four stars then.

But the conceit that Lord North wanted Megere Cliff from the very first kiss they shared and just expected her to interpret everything he did in that manner (well, the interaction at the Seeker's Ball really did make it clear she wasn't looking at him that way) - and then Megere at the end simply declaring her love for him when until then it had been "I desire you, but you make me so furious" (which I don't consider a valid basis for a HEA) - that was a bit too weak. I think another 100 pages and some more interaction between them than they had in this book would have made me believe this conclusion more.

Because I can really see where they match in their interests and in their way they look at life - that was well introduced. For that matter I was delightfully surprised at the way the worldbuilding, riffing off regency England (with some Victorian and some Renaissance bits thrown in), always skewed my expectations.

I especially enjoyed the idea of a corporate family, with a contract going back hundreds of years, which still functions first and foremost as a family (although at the end the burden switched to corporation - but then again Megere's parents hadn't heard her uncle's newest scheme yet). And the way this well-off gentry family also subscribed to helping others better themselves and do charity - I guess that is the Puritan ideal that US Americans had hoped would work for their society when they founded it.

For that matter the family interactions where the most fun bit of the book - or should I say Megere's personal developments in general. This reminded me much more of the first Horatio Hornblower novel (although Sizemore actually does homage to Patrick O'Brien with Captain Copper and Dr. Swan) - we get all this personal development and there's a subdued lovestory included which isn't half as dramatic as it was in the Gregory Peck movie.

So basically I follow one woman along in her quest to be the best she can be and be able to make her own decisions. And just by chance and because of her wide circle of acquaintances she manages to also make two other girls in her family happy in love ^^.

I hope that Sizemore writes more in this world, because while Megere may have averted becoming the broodmare for the Emperor, it isn't clear whether Lord North doesn't also calculate on more children with her precious blood resistance for himself. I thought that kiss to the mother of his contract heir, in front of all those other people at the exhibition, while pretty much aware that Megere was an onlooker, was pretty telling.

The author has managed to make me believe that Megere will be up to dealing with these problems (I especially liked that she had a love affair of her own in the book, even as the two people realised that their different view on life made them incompatible in the long run - and it WASN'T with any of the men she was looking at for possible marriage). This is a book about the heroine! And her family! - the love interests come second. I very much appreciate that because that kind of focus is so rare.

ETA: There is a 48 page short story with Megere and Adrew called My Dearest already available, which follows this novel in the timeline but is said to be stand-alone. I have bought it, but not read it yet. In a comment on her author's review post, Susan Sizemore said she was quite interested in writing more in this world, so I hope good sales may encourage her to do so ^^.
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message 2: by Li (new) - rated it 4 stars

Li I bought this based on your review - am enjoying it!

Estara Wahoo! Well, I bought those two Mills&Boon Kelly Hunters, so we're even ^^.

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