Carla Kelly's "Mrs Drew Plays Her Hand"

Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand - Carla Kelly


Another superb Traditional Regency from Carla Kelly. The hero is to die for. The desperate trip to Gretna Green, crossing the Pennines into Scotland in the middle of winter, to evade the heroine's evil brother-in-law, is a true nail-biter. I would have preferred that the brother-in-law get more of a comeuppance for his threats to the heroine, but I guess the hero figured that the end result from the threats was so satisfying for him that he didn't need to create a permanent enemy in the neighbourhood.   


I think Grace Burrowes may have gotten a few ideas and techniques from this book, which was first published in 1994.  First - Burrowes' favorite word "scooted" appears in this book (just once, though), although I have never seen this word used in any Regency romance other than Grace Burrowes'. Second - Burrowes' technique of associating a distinct herbal scent with her main characters occurs in this book, with the hero often waxing poetical over the heroine's lavender scent. Third - Burrowes' technique of a theme drink and comfort food in pretty much every one of her books is used by Carla Kelly in this book, but this book predates Grace Burrowes' books by at least a decade.