cover image An Inconvenient Romance

An Inconvenient Romance

Chalon Linton. Covenant Communications, $15.99 trade paper (204p) ISBN 978-1-5244-0026-2

It takes more than a passing familiarity with Jane Austen to craft a Regency romance, as demonstrated by Linton’s debut, which is weak in plot and style. Leah Hastings and Charles Brumley, childhood friends and neighbors, squabbled growing up but always expected to wed as adults. However, when Charles inherits his father’s country estate at age 22, he flees to the city, declaring it too soon to settle down. Leah, wounded by his defection, encourages the attentions of another man. Charles gets the immaturity out of his system and returns to Derbyshire 10 months later, but it may be too late to regain Leah’s love and trust. The book suffers from overwrought characters who always believe the worst of each other. Leah and Charles narrate alternating chapters in first person, which only serves to make the reader want to lock them in a room together to put an end to their misunderstandings and anachronistic fondness for the word okay. A predictable romance does little to mask Linton’s inexpert employment of several words where one would suffice, and inaccurate use of historical terms. Regency readers seeking a chaste story will find it here but may wish they had looked further. (Mar.)