Friday, 21 February 2014

Beggars Can't Be Choosier

Beggars Can’t Be Choosier by D.W. Wilkin

I love the title which instantly made me wonder who was going to be the beggar and I enjoyed the read to find out the ‘who and why’ of their beggar state. I really enjoyed how D.W. Wilkin has used the simple plot of: an ‘almost nobody’, in possession of a fortune, seeks the respectability of the ‘TON’ by marrying impoverished nobility.

I found it very easy to identify with Brian, The Earl of Aftlake, who makes the most of his circumstances, his noble character remaining true throughout- even in the face of some rather enticing temptations. That said, I found very little character development for him throughout the story, yet he continued to be likeable. Katherine Chandler can never be termed a wimpish Regency heroine. Her plans from the outset of the book are quite enterprising for the times and, for me, she comes across as feistily feminine throughout the novel. She, too, is an engaging character who only deals with a few minor setbacks along the way of the story. There are only a few instances where she needs to change her way of thinking, notably so towards the end. Katherine is a woman who makes things happen, to improve what she feels should be her true place in society.

The author’s writing style generally follows the form of Regency speech patterns which I’ve read in classic novels written about the period; a style which I found very entertaining. The historical detail with regard to the ‘TON’ is delightful to read and well researched. However, I found instances in the story which took another re-read to understand the sentences or paragraphs fully- for me something just not quite right about them. Some of the phrases seemed incomplete, or something was lacking in the cadences of the speech which interrupted my reading flow.

I’m not going to recount the story - as I feel that leads to too many spoilers – but I was wondering exactly what D.W. Wilkin was going to come up with towards the end of the tale to resolve the main focus which was ‘how does true love fit into the marriage bargain’. For me, the conflict of this issue could perhaps have been more developed, more instances where Katherine becomes challenged over her initial plans. The small mystery of Katherine’s true lineage is divulged towards the end, D.W. Wilkin giving sufficient clues along the way for the reader to pick up on, and if the reader has read Regency plots before then it’s not difficult to work out who is related to whom, even though his cast of characters is quite large.

There’s a very neat rounding up of monetary detail at the end of the story which makes me want to quote that ‘alls well that ends well’. If you’re looking for an easy Regency read, I can definitely recommend this one!
 When a fortune purchases a title, love shall never flourish, for a heart that is bought, can never be won.

The Earl of Aftlake has struggled since coming into his inheritance. Terrible decisions by his father has left him with an income of only 100 pounds a year. For a Peer, living on such a sum is near impossible. Into his life comes the charming and beautiful Katherine Chandler. She has a fortune her father made in the India trade.

Together, a title and a fortune can be a thing that can achieve great things for all of England. Together the two can start a family and restore the Aftlake fortunes. Together they form an alliance.

But a partnership of this nature is not one of love. And terms of the partnership will allow both to one day seek a love that they both deserve for all that they do. But will Brian Forbes Pangentier find the loves he desires or the love he deserves?

And Katherine, now Countess Aftlake, will she learn to appreciate the difference between happiness and wealth? Can love and the admiration of the TON combine or are the two mutually exclusive?


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