Splendid (Blydon Family Saga Series #1)

Splendid - Julia Quinn Splendid is a good word for this book... it's the best of the Regency romance-formulas, except that the heroine is American! Imagine that! So the American sensibilities about independence are even more at home in our flame-haired heroine. The hero is a rake who, is of course, determined not to marry; his title, lands, and money seem to be all that the Marriage Mart is truly after, and he's steeled himself against any feeling if he's to become part of a contract. So there are definitely some difference in our H/H that make them both unique and delightful. (Did any titled young man truly want to marry in this age? Or were they all just playing the game to see if any would take their hearts? Hmmm...)Although... The Big Misunderstanding comes late in the book. (No, don't be fooled by the what seems to be the immediate "big misunderstanding", it's just a device for the meet-cute, which is one of the best I've read.) The True Big Misunderstanding is late in the book and seems... out of place and perhaps over-dramatized. Ms. Quinn has set up the reader nicely, though, and even while it doesn't quite ring true, the reader can understand how it might come about. And thank goodness, TBM doesn't last long.The only other thing that bothered me was the first "steamy" scene... and as I thought about it, I realized that it's not just this book where this type of intimate encounter bothers me. It just seems as if any heroine would bristle about being physically probed and invaded; surely, even half-drunk with emotion and lust, a properly bred young lady understands that this action is as intimate as the act, itself. While our Heroine in this book is embarrassed after-the-fact, it seems too little, too late. And she only blames herself for allowing it, which seems odd, since she should realize that without his "knowledge" and action of that particular act, it wouldn't have happened; he should share at least 1/2 the guilt and shame. And I was disappointed in our Hero for going so far in that first truly intimate encounter; it seemed crude and demeaning. Typically (by that I mean in other books), this type of act doesn't occur until the wedding night - or at the very least - after the engagement, and is usually followed by the actual coupling, making the probing fore-play with some possible purpose. The engaged couple is going as far as they can without going all the way, as it were. Yes, in this story, our Hero and Heroine have shared several steamy kissing scenes before this; but that's all they were, essentially - kisses. And while their families are attempting to allow such a "ravishment", our H/H are still nowhere near admitting love, making marriage still completely out of the question. Our Hero seems to have a lot of charm, charisma, and finesse normally, but not in this situation. He didn't feel he had anything to lose, and he was determined to have her; why didn't he simply complete the goal and "go all the way" with her?Seeing as this was Ms. Quinn's first published novel, I'll give her a break on the nits. She obviously learned how to overcome them and continued to build on her strengths to give us some wonderful romances. And this one is, indeed, Splendid!