Review: Julia and the Master of Morancourt

Julia and the Master of Morancourt: A Novel…Janet Aylmer, Julia and the Master of Morancourt

Julia Maitland, the oldest of three sisters, is expected to marry well so that her family will be supported when her father dies. She vows that she will not marry a man she doesn’t love, but she nevertheless agrees to her mother’s various schemes to introduce her to eligible men. While visiting a friend of the family, Harry Douglas, Julia becomes acquainted with his son Kit and is immediately attracted to him; however, as a younger son, Kit isn’t a good match from a monetary standpoint. Throughout the course of the novel, Julia strives to reconcile her familial responsibility with her heart.

I’m a sucker for a good Regency-era love story, so I was expecting to enjoy this book much more than I did. The “marry rich to support the family” plot is horribly overdone in this genre (and no one has ever done it as well as Jane Austen, so part of me wonders why people are even still trying). Also, there was no suspense whatsoever. Even a subplot about possible illegal activity involving Kit’s servants failed to hold my interest, mostly because the solution to the entire thing was so blatantly obvious from the beginning. There was also something jarring about the writing style; though the book tries to imitate period language, it comes off sounding stilted and awkward. All in all, I was disappointed in this book. Should have picked up a Georgette Heyer novel instead!

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