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A Little Folly

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  778 ratings  ·  160 reviews
A witty and romantic novel of Regency love, family and appalling scandal, from a latter-day Jane Austen

When their strait-laced, domineering father, Sir Clement Carnell, dies, Valentine throws open their Devonshire estate of Pennacombe to their fashionable cousins from London and Louisa feels free at last to reject the man Sir Clement wanted her to marry.

Soon, the temptatio
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by St. Martin's Press (first published March 1st 2010)
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3.65  · 
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 ·  778 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Dec 19, 2015 rated it liked it
This review originally appeared on my blog Shoulda Coulda Woulda Books.

I don't have a good track record with Austen pastiches. And it's gotten worse as time has gone on. At first it was kind of fun to go for the "Austen, but with all the sexy bits you wished were there", but that got old fast. As did the people who basically just borrowed her world and characters as a selling point and then proceeded to write novels based on each of the minor characters that seemed to have little or nothing to d
What can I say? It is Jude Morgan's Regency romance. If you know and like Indiscretion (my review) or An Accomplished Woman (my review) you will like it too.

The novel is witty, amusing, enjoyable. There are plenty funny sentence and dialogues like in the above mentioned books and in Georgette Heyer's Regency romances.

Miss Rose in this demonstrating the peculiar talent of those who proclaim their absence of self-esteem for getting a lot of attention by pretending they never get any

I think there i
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very pleased with how this book went! similar to Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen, but with its own style and humor as well. The characters are well drawn and realistic and there's plenty of surprises all the way.
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I spent the first several chapters of this book thinking "What's the point of reading this when I could be reading Jane Austen?"

Then something clicked. Perhaps it was Morgan's clever turns of phrase:

"She would not allow praises to go to her head:--but they might be allowed to reach as far as her eyes, which, when she saw herself reflected in the hall mirror as they left, certainly seemed uncommonly bright."

"...he lounged away in a cloud of pomade and exclamation marks."

Or perhaps his clear-eyed
Jamie Collins
A lovely Regency romance novel, something I’d particularly recommend to fans of Georgette Heyer. Most books that can be labeled “Austen-lite” are terrible, but Heyer pulled it off, and so does Morgan. This is delightfully well written.

It’s lighter than Indiscretion and more comedic. My favorite secondary character is the spinster cousin determined to be neglected and uncomfortable:

"Not that Miss Rose was any trouble: indeed, it was the very aim and desire of her life not to be so, as she was con
Charlotte Brothers
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book immensely. Any fans of witty, slow-burning love stories like those by Austen and Heyer would agree.
Jude Morgan's handle on the times (Regency) and most importantly, the vocabulary, of the great English classics is superb. The language makes the story clever and beautiful and obviously written by a master and not a dabbler.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is Jude Morgan's third novel written in the style of Jane Austen (following INDISCRETION and AN ACCOMPLISHED WOMAN). These three novels are light period pieces of social commentary on life in the 1800s. All three are beautifully written and are especially appreciated by those readers like myself who wish that Jane Austen had written many more novels in her lifetime. I must say, however, that this novel, in particular, reads as if it had been a collaborative effort of Austen and Georgette He ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Most modern Regency romance authors make me cringe, and I usually have to put the novel down. You want authentic Regency, JM does it best for a modern author. You can't really beat the oldies. As usual, his beautiful writing style is well done and doesn't fail to stay true to the time era, yet still being truly his own. Highly recommend for Austen lovers.
The Lit Bitch
If you like Jane Austen’s novels, you will find a lot to like in this book. It’s a little bit of Emma and Pride and Prejudice mixed together in a slightly more modern cocktail. I loved the witty banter and language that Morgan used in the character dialogs, that made it more of an updated Austen type novel.

From the first chapter the singular thing that bothered me was the brother’s name–Valentine. I could never warm up to his character or feel sympathy for him simply because I didn’t care for hi
If you like Jane Austen and/or Georgette Heyer, this is the book for you.

Personally, there was too much "homage" being paid to Austen in the form of characters, plot points, and dialogue. If I wanted to read Pride and Prejudice, I would just read it, you know?

Still a good book, though.
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very much like Jane Austen but without the cheese factor of other authors who try to imitate her. Loved this book!
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: georgian-regency
This was basically a rip-off of Emma with a little P&P thrown in. But slow, boring and no chemistry between the characters.
Nov 27, 2014 added it
Shelves: abandoned
Just couldn't get into this one...after a hundred pages I still didn't feel really connected to the characters. Put it down, but I wouldn't rule out trying again.
Halley Sutton
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So thoroughly enjoyable.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-regency
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
A sweet and gentle examination of a brother and sister who decide to undertake the enterprise of living upon the demise of their harsh and tyrannical father. Such an overbearing and omniscient influence as that of the late Mr. Carnell is not so easily shaken off though, and thus it is that Valentine and Louisa find themselves indulging in a little folly, now that they have the freedom to do so.

This book wasn't the charming read that Indiscretion was but nonetheless it was engaging even as it wa

Valentine and Louisa Carnell have lived under the iron thumb of their father their whole lives. Now he is dead and they decide it's time to start living their lives. Their first big act of "defiance" is to open the doors of their home to a party. Louisa dreads the idea of entertaining because it means she must invite the autocratic Pearce Lynley, the man her father wished her to marry. Louisa has no desire to marry Mr. Lynley but isn't quite sure how to stand up to him and tell him so. When thei
Lady Salford
The story centers mostly around a brother and sister, who have lived a rather secluded life because of their strict father. Following his death, they start to live and try to do what they want and leave off the influence of their late father. A tumultuous adventure where they adjust to having independence of thought and not lose their reputation in the process by engaging in a little bit of folly.

The heroine's love interest was the main draw for me in this story. His wry humourous wit quickly e
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Jude Morgan's novels Passion and A Taste of Sorrow, based on famous literary lives (the Shelley-Byron circle, the Brontes.) A Little Folly is fiction of a much lighter kind: Regency romance, pitched somewhere between Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. I must admit it isn't a genre I particularly care for, and I nearly gave up midway. But by the end, the quality of Morgan's writing won me over. He is a multi-genre author who has published under three names, and it seems he has something for ...more
Shahd Mt.
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely beyond beautiful. The language, the insight, the way the writer handled complexities. Utterly breathtaking. the kind of book u close with a sigh and hug before letting it go.
Julia Wilson
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An almost perfect book, at least for fans of Jane Austen. Sly humor and enough plot twists to entertain.
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jude Morgan is heaven
Dec 21, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
While this is a romance, I'd say that its central focus is not on the romantic aspect, but on how children of abuse can recover and learn to take their lives back. The bewildering sense of freedom, the occasional guilt, imagining what the abusive parent might have to say, are all difficult things to shake even once the abuser has left (or in this case, died). Louisa and Valentine basically have to learn how to be functioning, independent adults when they were so sheltered their entire lives that ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've read and re-read Morgan's three Regency romances a few times and they don't pall. They are closer to Heyer homages than Austen. Heyer, writing from a (comparatively) more liberal era for women, never quite captured that paper-thin divide between the delightful, empty existence of an upper-class woman and that of all other women. Austen hints at the terrible things that happen to women unlucky enough not to captivate a Darcy, even if they all happen offstage; Heyer doesn't bother to hint at ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The plotting is a lot sharper and more evenly paced than Indiscretion and it's cleverer. The author has built in an theme of influence that threads throughout the novel - when do you listen to influence and when do you resist? The heroine is likeable if a little frustratingly dense at times. I also liked the hero better than Indiscretion's. There were a few moments that rang a little false to me, however - one gibe about women never talking sense which is probably period appropriate but very unp ...more
Michelle Elizabeth
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Our main characters, Valentine and Louisa, are raised in a manor house by their strict father. Their mother, having died while they were in childhood, was no longer able to shield them. Louisa is promised to a neighboring land owner.........................the father dies and the young adults go wild and live their lives just as they wish. A little folly or two ensue.

I love the idea of verbal sparring and this book does not disappoint.
Preston Russell
Apr 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
I tried to finish the book. I really, truly tried. Around page one-hundred is when I decided to take a break. Upon returning to try and finish it, I began at the beginning again and worked my way back to where I originally left off... bad idea. The book is an utter bore, and — at the very least — a present disappoint, upon which I shan’t ever happily or excitedly read another Austen-esque novel again. Yes, I’m patronizing now. Just don’t read this book.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
A little uneven, but enjoyable. Nothing new in the type of story, it's exactly what you'd expect from a novel set in Georgian England-but it's that's exactly what I wanted from it! Also, I appreciated that this novel didn't veer off the rails & become extremely far fetched the way some novels trying to imitate Jane Austen do.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
It has a lot of clever turns of phrases, and the characters are rendered well enough to be likeable even though the standard Austenesque prose. My only complaint is that sometimes the characters veered too closely to those of Austen. It can be distracting to think "Oh this is Darcy with a different name" etc. Overall, a fun and charming read.
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Jude Morgan was born and brought up in Peterborough on the edge of the Fens and was a student on the University of East Anglia MA Course in Creative Writing under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter.

A pseudonym used by Tim Wilson.

Also wrote under the names T.R. Wilson and Hannah March.
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“Miss Rose in this demonstrating the peculiar talent of those who proclaim their absence of self-esteem for getting a lot of attention by pretending they never get any” 1 likes
“I think there is a compliment there somewhere, but it is very well disguised” 1 likes
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