Publication Date: April 18, 2014
Formats: eBook, Paperback; 260p
Genre: Historical Regency/Comedy-Spoof
When the group of highwaymen headed by the disgraced Earl of Little Dean, Reynaud Ravensdale hold up the hoydenish Isabella Murray’s coach, she knocks one of them down and lectures them all on following Robin Hood’s example.
The rascally Reynaud Ravensdale – otherwise known as the dashing highwayman Mr Fox – is fascinated by her spirit.
He escaped abroad three years back following his supposedly shooting a friend dead after a quarrel. Rumour has it that his far more respectable cousin was involved. Now, having come back during his father’s last illness, the young Earl is seeking to clear his name.
Isabella’s ambitious parents are eager to marry her off to Reynaud Ravensdale’s cousin, the next in line to his title. The totally unromantic Isabella is even ready to elope with her outlaw admirer to escape this fate – on condition that he teaches her how to be a highwaywoman herself.
This hilarious spoof uses vivid characters and lively comedy to bring new life to a theme traditionally favoured by historical novelists – that of the wild young Earl, who, falsely accused of murder by the machinations of a conniving cousin and prejudged by his reputation, lives as an outlaw whilst seeking to clear his name.
‘Ravensdale’ is a fast paced, funny and romantic read from the writer of ‘That Scoundrel Émile Dubois’, following the adventures of his equally roguish cousin and set in 1792, just prior to the French Revolution, two years before ‘That Scoundrel Émile Dubois’.
Praise for Ravensdale
“This was a good book. Well written and funny. As far as historical romances go, this one is quite a page turner. She turned a historical romance into something fun and different with comedy added in.” – Brenny’s Book Obsession (Amazon.com)
“I liked how Elliot poked fun at the clichés of historical romances. The chapter titles made me laugh. They were these little parody’s which gave just enough lightness to the story without turning it into a joke.” – Lauryn April (Amazon.com)
“And despite all the satire there is still an enjoyable story taking place in this book. Elliot does a fine job of allowing the reader to not only laugh at some of the absurdities in this tale but also root for the players to find their happy ending. There is plenty of emotion and heart in this book as both Isabella and Reynaud are characters of admirable quality and depth. ..I applaud Elliot for making the poetic regency romances we hold dear to our heart into something fun and different. She never insults or tarnishes what we love about the genre but allows it to blossom with comedy making it something I particularly loved even more.” – JC @ All is Read (Amazon.com)
“This was a cleverly written story, similar to a tongue in cheek Jane Austen classic.” – Gidgeemamma (Amazon.com)
“Ravensdale achieves everything it sets out to do, playing with formulas and stereotypes of older romance novels with abandon.The writer manages to pay tribute to the genre while having fun at the same time. In one paragraph, the sturdy no-nonsense heroine muses on the cliches of the plot she finds herself in, capitalizing all the character types such as the Wild Young Buck, the Villain of the Piece, and the Sweet Young Maiden. You can see her eyes rolling as she teases. But then the novel transforms, as the stereotypes become real people under the clever typing fingers of Lucinda Elliot.” – Jo (Amazon.com)
“If you enjoy Georgette Heyer-style period romances, you’ll probably enjoy “Ravensdale”. However – and this is what is so clever about this novel – if you don’t, then there’s a good chance that you’ll enjoy “Ravensdale” anyway. It provides you with both characters that you can genuinely like and care about, an interesting story, and a parody that is at times hilarious.” – Mari Biella (Amazon.com)
“I didn’t want it to end. Ravensdale is a thoroughly enjoyable read.” – Anne Carlisle PhD (Amazon.com)
“I was so engrossed that I couldn’t stop reading and ended up with a terrible headache, but it was worth it. What an amazing bunch of characters! First of all, there’s Lord Reynaud Ravensdale, the Disgraced Outlaw and Earl: this is a character to really fall in love with. He’s intelligent, quick, wild, impetuous, an amazing shot, and absolutely bursting with honor. ..Isabella is an amazing kick ass woman, and a true, perfect match for the larger than life Ravensdale.” – Ral in the West (Amazon.com)
Ravensdale has all the components of a regency historical romance novel…a heroine, a dastardly villain, and a handsome rogue. However, it’s not a typical regency at all; it’s a cleverly written and hilarious parody of that genre. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but it was quite funny and entertaining.
The tale opens at a funeral for an old Earl’s funeral where the reader is introduced to the main players. They include the nephew, Edmund Ravensdale aka the conniving cousin and the Earl’s son, Reynaud Ravensdale aka the outlaw, highwayman, and Mr. Fox. Readers also meet the Murray family and their daughter, the heroine, Isabella. The book takes off quickly when Reynaud Ravensdale is recognized and pursued by soldiers since the “outlaw” is a wanted man. But, the story really gains speed when Isabella, her brother, and Mistress Titmarsh are robbed by Reynaud and his bandits. I quickly saw what a great, snarky heroine our Isabella is when she punches one of Reynaud’s men in the nose when he touches her inappropriately. This is the point in which Ravensdale falls for her and soon does everything he can to be near her without being recognized and taken to the gallows. It takes her a bit longer to fall for him, and things only get further complicated when his “villainous” cousin, Edmund, begins vying for Isabella’s attentions. This pleases her parents to no end for her to make such a good match. However, she is going to do everything in her power to fight against marrying someone she doesn’t love even if that means fleeing her family with Reynaud.
Even though a bulk of the story is the “romance” between Reynaud and Isabella, the most intriguing part of the book for me was the mystery of why Reynaud and his cousin are at odds with each other and why he was disgraced and became an outlaw. Some of my favorite chapters were the flashbacks that let me see Reynaud and Edmund in the past. Another thing I really liked were the exchanges between the couple; Isabella is a spitfire and is not a damsel in distress. She is an independent woman who fights the image of what a woman was during that time.
Although I don’t read a great deal of regency romance novels, I enjoyed this parody. There were times that it moved a bit slow, but the writer did keep me engaged and entertained. I loved the satire, and anyone who is a fan of romance novels would enjoy this book.
Lucinda Elliot loves writing Gothic style stories, which isn’t surprising because she was brought up in a series of big old isolated houses which her parents were refurbishing (it wasn’t so fashionable back then). After that, she lived, studied and worked in London for many years and now lives in Mid Wales with her family.
She loves writing about strong women to complement gung ho males.
Her interests do include weight training and body shaping,and she was once a champion Sports fighter, but apart from that her interests are quite geeky. Reading classic novels, conservation, gardening, and even names and their meanings (bring on the carrot juice). She loves a laugh above anything.
For more information please visit Lucinda’s website. You can also connect with her on Goodreads.
Ravensdale Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, September 22
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, September 23
Interview at Layered Pages
Wednesday, September 24
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Thursday, September 25
Review at “Good Friends, Good Books and a Sleepy Conscience: This is the Ideal Life.”
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry
Saturday, September 27
Spotlight at Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers
Sunday, September 28
Review at Carole’s Ramblings
Monday, September 29
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Tuesday, September 30
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review at Devilishly Delicious Book Blog
Thursday, October 2
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Friday, October 3
Spotlight at SOS Aloha