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Thursday, July 27, 2006

*** Infamous by Virginia Henley. Historical romance.

As Infamous opens, Jory (Marjory) has decided, on the advice of her promiscuous friend Joanna Plantagenet, to take her first lover before her brother and uncle arrange a marriage for her. The target of her decision is the infamous Guy deBeauchamp, who's already buried two wives under mysterious circumstances.

They fall in love, and plan to marry, but Jory's brother and uncle turn down Guy's offer, unbeknownst to Jory, believing they're acting in her best interests.

The book follows Jory through an affectionate, if not passionate, marriage, widowhood, and her eventual reunion with Guy.

Infamous is very reminiscent of the Bertrice Small historical romances I've read, in that it contains liberal references to actual historical figures (at one point, Jory has an affair with Robert the Bruce), is full of sensuality, and is a sweeping story encompassing many years and more than one relationship for the heroine.

Unfortunately, it's also written in a rather distant style. I'm not sure if it's omniscient or 3rd-person limited with headhopping, but it kept me from really caring about the characters. It felt very much as if I were listening to someone telling me about a book they'd read, and while I found it interesting, even fascinating in parts, I never became involved in the story.


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