Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Best Intentions by Candice Hern - a fun review!

The Best Intentions

The Best Intentions
by Candice Hern
Paperback, Signet Regency Romance, 224 pages
Published June 1st 1999 by Signet
Hannah Fairbanks would gladly leave the marrying to her beautiful, refined older sister. She herself would much rather tramp about the countryside, muddled hems and all, studying the ancient ruins and architecture that are her one and only true passion...or so she thinks. For on a fateful visit to a dashing, widowed earl, she receives an even more fateful kiss...and proceeds to throw everyone's plans awry!

Lol... this is a laughing fun romp into regency era with delightful new characters.

Hannah is unlike anyone I've ever read about from this time period. She is resistant to ladylike improvements and she obviously needs some. Her mom never taught her to think before speaking, primarily, and thoroughly enjoyed her antics. Some of what Hannah enjoys is simply fun and delightful, but in other ways... she's completely clueless. She doesn't understand men or attracting positive attention. I honestly wondered if her older sister might become the main character, since Hannah is so clueless of romance and the book seemed to be a romance. I could not guess how Hannah would wake up. Lol.

There are three main gentlemen in the story and I wasn't sure which would step up as the main guy in the romance for awhile. This sort of beginning was entirely refreshing. I did a double-take with the first chapter describing the earl's conversation with his friend. He sounded very unlikely to be the main character in the story... possibly un-handsome, if rich, and definitely contrary to the idea. Lol. I was happy to be proved wrong on the handsome side of things - he is, quite - but "clueless" described him for most of the story. Delightful.

I didn't catch on to the fun of architecture at first, but it really grew on me. Hannah has studied history and architecture and gets excited to see it and investigate origins and stuff. It was catching. I found myself looking forward to her next discovery or her opinion of this staircase or that archway.  Old England is such a great place to get excited about architecture... especially hanging out with someone who knows!!

I would only rate this book 3 stars because if the level of "cute". It's decidedly young adult and some things like plunging tongues (?!) pulled me right out of the story with a snort. The bumbling accidents did not make me laugh at all, although I think they were meant to be funny. When I laughed, it was over the awkwardness of the situations she found herself in, usually with her mouth and not guarding the words that came out of it.

The romance is very nice and refreshing.  It grows quite obviously despite the two characters complete oblivion, which is fun.

As I was saying, I would rate it only 3 stars except for that architecture and how delightful the romance and characters are... between those three, I will remember this story years from now and want to re-read it. I'm definitely grateful I found it.  FREE special discovered from BookBub!!  :-D

3.5 Stars.

PS - I could not tell it was the second book in a series. This story stood alone very well. I definitely want to read more from Candice Hern!

Candice Hern is the award-winning, bestselling author of historical romance novels set during the English Regency period. Her books have won praise for the "intelligence and elegant romantic sensibility" (Romantic Times) as well as "delicious wit and luscious sensuality (Booklist). Candice's award-winning website ( is often cited for its Regency World pages, where readers interested in the era will find an illustrated glossary, a detailed timeline, illustrated digests of Regency people and places, articles on Regency fashion, research links, and much more. It is the only author website listed among the online resources for the Jane Austen Centre in England.