The Gilded Lily

Helen Argers, Author
Helen Argers, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-18571-8
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
Hardcover - 978-0-312-13976-6
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A protagonist who rebels against the social conventions of the Gilded Age, Nina De Bonnard has a sharp wit and a temper to match. As a young girl, Nina experienced a side of male behavior so damaging that she picks and rejects male suitors like the gowns in her closet. Such behavior earns her a reputation, and makes her a target for the amorous attentions of some and pedestal-toppling plans of others. She is drawn to Jordan Houghton Windsor, eldest son of the Windsor newspaper dynasty, who is the only man strong enough to challenge her willfulness. But misunderstandings keep them apart, and no sooner is one conflict resolved than fate conspires to separate them with another. A solid researcher, Argers (Noblesse Oblige) provides myriad details of the social customs that ruled New York society in the late 1800s, as seen from the point of view of a woman not inclined to follow society's dictates. Hardly a stylist, she models her pedestrian prose on the overwrought expressions of Victorian Romanticism, but intersperses late-20th-century anachronisms : ""Yeah, like she's switched"" and ""I don't do direct.""Haughty Nina is a convention of romantic fiction, as is the roguish Jordan, and the course of true love survives many contrived obstacles and finally achieves a happy ending. (July)
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