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Danse de la Folie

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  489 ratings  ·  78 reviews
A light-hearted Regency folly, starring Miss Clarissa Harlowe who
wants a quiet life-but falls in love with a smuggler, the marquess of St. Tarval. Tarval’s sister, Lady Kitty, is determined to write a dramatic Gothic to save her brother’s mortgaged estate-if she can reach London. Clarissa’s much-pursued cousin, Mr. Philip Devereaux, is inexplicably intrigued by Lady Kitty,
ebook, first, 300 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Book View Cafe (first published August 19th 2012)
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Melanie PG. There no content that wouldn't be in a Jane Austen movie, except a scene with a licentious old man making unwanted advances to a young lady.

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3.93  · 
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 ·  489 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Sherwood Smith
Aug 21, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Back in the seventies, I wrote a Georgette Heyer pastiche, but by the time I got it typed up to send around, the second wave of Regency romances had pretty much taken over, at least in the USA: spicy, the heroines hopping into the sack with the heroes. Along with the sex came the modernization of the heroines--they were often on a first name basis with everyone by page ten, they went off alone through London without a thought, etc. Readers seemed to want that, though I didn't, so I pretty much s ...more
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid and entertaining regency romance. The dialogue is sharp and very funny, and the two heroines - who are much older than the normal regency debutantes - are good foils for each other. This is also a book that is firmly set in the regency era, with all of the strictures that entails, and fun details that show the research the author put into the book. In fact, the only thing that hindered my enjoyment of this otherwise excellent book was the villain, who was a bit too cartoonish and ...more
Melissa McShane
I admit it, this wasn't a five-star rating until about halfway through, when I realized I'd become extremely attached to the characters without noticing. Danse de la Folie has a wonderful sensibility of the age and feels very authentic in the speech and manners of the characters, and I loved the romances--all of them, not just the main two. If the ending feels a little abrupt, I didn't mind so much because it felt like the right kind of comeuppance for our villain. Excellent story, and so satisf ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, chaste
I thoroughly enjoyed this book (with one caveat). One of the things that has prevented me from enjoying a good many of the historical romances inundating the genre these days is that most authors seem to have no familiarity with the era and no desire to learn. Not so Sherwood Smith. Her regency depiction feels real and detailed with just enough explanation that anybody can feel comfortable with the motivations and reactions of the people in it. The main characters are engaging and their relation ...more
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, reviewed, fluff
Oh, this was simply lovely. A silver-fork Regency with a real eye for period detail and a warm beating heart. It's the sort of book with lots of twists and turns and at every turn it chooses happiness. I dithered a lot about whether I should add this one to my fluff shelf, because although it made me feel all fluffy and cozy inside it has a refreshing solidity, grounded as it is in such a goodhearted, clear eyed view of humanity. Our four heroes are well-balanced, thoughtful individuals who are ...more
Katharine Kimbriel
Regular Goodreads followers know that I rarely give new books 5 stars – that’s for classics, and books I still love after several years. But this one was so much fun, it’s joining my five star moderns club.

Sherwood Smith has delivered a delightful “sweet Regency” novel for fans of the genre. I’d have to say that for both historical accuracy and adapting the “silver fork” genre for modern readers, Smith did a wonderful job. She has a discerning eye, allowing her characters to grow and change thro
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just noticed that I'd never written anything about this - not an unusual occurrence, admittedly, but one I regret all the same. Autumn 2012 was one of the more hellish times around here, but still. To make up for it, I'm doing star rating, which I don't do for friends' books normally.

Also I'm repeating the pleas a lot of us sent out at the time for more.
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
I thought this was going to be a bit better than it was. I was delighted by some of the Thackeray-esque tones that I thought I was encountering when I first entered the book, the wry omniscient narrator. But that disappeared quickly. After the initial establishing plot involving smuggling and rakish doings, I thought that the whole thing went downhill rather quickly. And even that plot was got rid of with a flick of the hand later when the time needed to be spent with the romances rather than wi ...more
Oct 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, regency
A lovely Regency romance. Clarissa is a conflict-averse heiress trying to avoid a boring suitor. By chance, Clarissa makes the acquaintance of the poor and infamous Decourcey family and rapidly becomes fast friends with Lady Kitty. Together, the two young ladies embark upon a Season in London, each with their own romantic entanglements. I loved the friendship between them, and the slow realizations each of them have about the other's character. But what I most enjoyed was the light, effortless f ...more
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: misc, sherwood-smith
Sherwood Smith is a chameleon! She so easily adapts to all manner of stories and genres. Danse de la Folie is no different. It is a typical Regency-style romance with four main players: Clarissa, Kitty, Carlisle, and Philip. True to form there are hijinks and misunderstandings and marriage swapping along with a couple of spoiled girls doing their best to get their own way. But also true are the proprieties of the time, which is nice. No first names and heaving bosoms (which always drove me nuts) ...more
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was initially thrown off a bit by the Heyer-like (or Austen-like?) language and the occasional usage of the author's omnipresent voice, but I actually ended up loving this frothy Regency-set romance and I have to say that I'm impressed by my first non-fantasy Sherwood Smith.

Yes, the plot wasn't exactly ground-breakingly original, but the way we got to the ending was immensely enjoyable(view spoiler)
Aug 23, 2012 rated it liked it
A regency romance somewhere between Austen and Heyer with a likeable heroine (or two). It's genteel, of the period and doesn't make the mistake of modernising the heroines. They stay striuctly within the period. It's Clarissa's story with Kitty as a strong secondary character. Expect the usual Regency fare of unrequited love, misunderstandings, engagements to the Wrong Man and fortune hunters slightly spiced up by the fact that Clarissa falls for a smuggler - but no ordinary smuggler, a marquis, ...more
Rachael Levy
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rock-solid romp of a Regency romance with a great nod to the Georgian era built right in for depth and extra flavor. Clearly Smith can write a Regency and nail the historical details without feeling stiff or fussy. She's got the right stuff!
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a rare find. Here is a regency novel, well-written by a current author, who has done her homework in regards to early 19th century culture and morals and which depicts some intelligent, honorable and generally rational protagonists in an enjoyable storyline. Brava. I enjoyed it.

Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm a little appalled to see that I haven't actually reviewed this. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if maybe Goodreads went through and deleted a bunch of my reviews at some point...?

Either way, this one deserves at least a small write-up, especially considering it has become my number one comfort read, with probably five re-reads since my first read date, if not more.

This novel is very much an ode to the clean & sweet romances of Georgette Heyer, but with perhaps a more intentionally femini
There are quite a few wobbles of tone here—Danse de la Folie starts out as a send-up of Regency-era romances, what with its inclusion of a smuggling sub-plot, authorial breaking of the fourth wall, and a heroine who I thought for a while was going to realise she was a lesbian. (I would absolutely have been down for that.) By the halfway point, with some audible gear grinding, it's become a much more standard romance novel in the Heyer mode, with a slightly cartoonish villain. It's readable, thou ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I sorely needed a comfort read yesterday, but since most of my books are packed for a move, I turned to this one on my e-reader. Sherwood Smith is one of my favorite authors, and Danse de la Folie is a delightful regency romance in the tradition of Georgette Heyer. Two young ladies meet when a yacht on its way to Holland is in an accident off the coast of England, and they become fast friends. The inexperienced, romantic Kitty is darling, but I identified with the sensible Clarissa the most. In ...more
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
2017 reread - Enjoyed this even more the third time around. The writing is so so good and the secondary characters filled out. Ms. Smith can write a great 'selfish and bossy but trying to make everyone think she is helping' villain in the vein of Austen (compare Mrs. Latchmore to Aunt Norris of Mansfield Park).

The audio version is very well done. Heather Wilds' reading makes it clear which character is speaking and that is hard to do when there are so many different ones (think of the many sist
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sherwood Smith has a rare talent hardly found in these days' other authors. She can create a lively cast of multiple characters with unique interests and traits and can handle the juggling superbly. The plot, although loosely centered around the two main couples, is well distributed to encompass other characters' plights and situations also. All in all, this book is a very refreshing read. All four leads are immensely easy to root for. On the other hand, the villain is very deliciously sketched ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm a fan of this author's fantasy novels which always have a whiff of the Heyers about them so when I found she'd written a straight regency novel I was quite excited to read it.
I found her less sure-footed here, her powers of characterization had not deserted her, though I found myself sometimes more interested in the Becky Sharp type anti heroine than in the pretty behaved girl I was supposed to root for.
It was largely free from the American type usages that upset British readers but night se
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: austen-esque
This was a pleasant, fun read. Very like Georgette Heyer, and I enjoy her work. I really liked the two main characters--especially Kitty. I did wish for a little more at the end, as I thought it ended a bit abruptly. Still satisfying, though.
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely charming! I tore right through this, simply loving every word.


Reread this book and was as captivated with it the second time as i was the first.
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the Audio of this book. The narrator did a phenomenal job. This a very well researched Regency double romance. It is completely clean.
Judy Bullard
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the first time I have read this author. I was very impressed! Very good story - and very good writing style.
Jessica Hubbard
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have to admit that the first couple of attempts to read this book did not go so well. I got bored and quickly sought out other reads. Being broke, I have had to try going through books I previously had put aside. I am so glad I gave this another try.

Once I really put my mind into this book, I was completely entranced. The characters and the plot had me absorbed and I found myself unable to pull away. I couldn’t wait to discover what was going to happen next and how our author was g
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heather Wilds does a great job narrating. There are so many different voices (a large number of them young females) and yet I could tell right away who was speaking.

I don't have the cd of this but the download that I got years ago from audible. This is my third time listening. May 2017, 2014, 2012
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book came highly recommended by a friend, and it did not disappoint. It is cleverly written-- with wit that caught me by surprise and caused me to laugh aloud. The format of writing took a little to get used to (it changed perspectives quite frequently), but in the end, I found it rather refreshing. I definitely recommend this book to anyone!
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent, but might have been even better if the author had limited her point of view a bit. The visits to the inside of the villainess's head were a bit more than I could take. Lovely, though, and would make such a sweet mini series!
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent regency romp!
Justyna Małgorzata
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Likeable characters - both heroes and heroines - and the romances that were sweet and modest. Very refreshing read after quite a few fails of this genre I happen to read lately. 3.75 stars.
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