Day 13 – The Tempestuous Affair by Caroline Courtney
THE TEMPESTUOUS AFFAIR
In 2012, I wrote a piece for NPR called In Defense of Romance, and in it I mentioned the first romance I ever read, which was The Fortunes of Love, by Caroline Courtney.
I’d go on to read every CC book. The Tempestuous Affair was my favorite.
A sexy Russian prince. A naive young English woman left in the care of his family.
He escorts her from England to Russia just before winter, and once she’s settled, she’s the belle of society. But Napoleon is threatening the country and she might falling in love with her Russian prince, which leaves her vulnerable in a number of ways.
When I was in eighth grade, in Catholic school, the library bookmobile would make a stop at our school once a week. I tried to check out this book, but my (school) librarian wouldn’t let me. Having read CC a few times already, I knew that the book would have none of the things she was worried it would. Back in the day, Regency Romance novels pretty much had no sex in them if the plot didn’t include marriage.
But somehow the words “Tempestuous” and “Affair” made her fear for my young Catholic sensibilities. ;o)
I managed to get my hands on it – I think I requested it at my branch – and I was right. There was no sex. But yum! Lots of sexual tension!
To this day, the hero in this book remains a favorite. (Think Lisa Kleypas’ Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent in The Devil in Winter, except he’s not redeemed until closer to the end of the book. Yeah, it was the ’80s. It was somehow still really sexy.)
I reread the book a few years ago, and I have to say, I still loved it. I was a bit more aware during the parts that were *slightly* disturbing—jealousy, possessiveness, Lucy’s occasional moments of, ummm, cluelessness—but they were relatively mild, and Nikolai was supremely sexy, heroic and capable, so it still hit the sweet spot for me.
It also made me remember my disapproving librarian and my Catholic school with affection.
When her father dies without leaving a male heir, Miss Lucy Stanton is forced to leave her ancestral home and live with her grandfather, Prince Virinsky. The late Sir Charles Stanton had written to his estranged father-in-law Prince Kuragin in Russia — entrusting him with the care of his daughter Lucy. The prospect of traveling to St. Petersburg-far away — was frightening and exciting. Though without a chaperone, Lucy did not fear for her virtue, one look at her escort, cousin Nikolai, revealed a nature as frozen as the Russian steppes.
Apparently, Caroline Courtney was Penny Jordan, but she remains one of my favorite authors of all-time, mainly because she was my favorite when I was discovering romance novels and was the first author I actively sought. I read every one, and loved them all. (Though some more than others.)
#HappyReading #100DaysofGreatBooks #SummerOfBookLove
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