I read widely from many genres. Perhaps this blog will feature fewer ratings and reviews, but I certainly intend to write about my reading life - it's the subject I most find myself wanting to talk about.
Roscoe, the male hero of Stephanie Laurens' "The Lady Risks All" made brief appearances in two of her earlier novels (conveniently excerpted after the novel for your review). With a bit of different premise, the story combines the noble rake with the gambling entrepreneur, and although the bulk of the novel is a domestic story, Laurens manages to get the couple into a little bit of derring-do, too. The female hero, Miranda Clifford, more than holds her own. She's 29, smart, and strong-willed (you expect no less from Laurens' women).
But by far the highlight of the story for me was the last chapter before the epilogue - the declaration. Even though the conventions of the genre mean the couple will get together, it's not telegraphed exactly how their obstacles will ultimately be resolved before it happens. When it does, the scene is emotional, believable, and tonally just right. It was one of the best declaration scenes I've read in some time. Soul-baring but not overwrought. Very nice.