The Secret Bluestocking: Isobel's Traditional Regency Romance by Alicia Quigley

The Secret Bluestocking: Isobel's Traditional Regency RomanceThe Secret Bluestocking: Isobel's Traditional Regency Romance by Alicia Quigley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have a great weakness for Traditional regencies, that being said I found Alicia Quigley's The Secret Bluestocking a fun little read. While not perfect it still held my attention to the end.
In the vein of Heyer, Quigley tried to be as authentic to the period with speech and mannerism. I felt at times she tried a little to hard that the speech felt still and didn't flow as nicely. This left the witticism and zingers many trads are know for out. She did an excellent job however creating the regency society world with it's ballroom settings and attention to details such as clothing and appearances.
The book was also filled with it's share of troupes of girl wearing pants and the heroine hiding her intelligence such as Isobel Paley does through story.

Isobel was the main trouble I had with the book. She hid and kept alot of secrets and while understandable at the time, she could have owned it within bounds of society instead of it dragging on. Events in her and her close friend's lives turned her off on marriage but with a great man like Lord Francis who proves time and again his worth I didn't feel the reason of turning him away was strong enough anymore. I got tried of the back and forth between her and Francis and the dragging of the story at this point.

Everything is wrapped up very nicely in the end, making it overall a nice read but not remarkable for the genre. Quigley's writing still shines in some instances that this author has alot of room to grow.

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Unknown said…

Dear Queen’s Library:

Will you please consider reviewing my new novel DON’T FORGET ME, BRO, to be published later this year by Stephen F. Austin State University Press (Texas Book Consortium)?

DON’T FORGET ME, BRO deals with themes of childhood abuse, mental illness, and alienated families. (See synopsis below.)

My award-winning debut novel THE NIGHT I FREED JOHN BROWN (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009) won The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and was one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY. For more info:

In addition I've published a collection of short stories, UGLY TO START WITH (West Virginia University Press) Here’s a link to some information about my collection:

My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including The Iowa Review, North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

My email is

Thank you very much.


John Michael Cummings

P.S. Could you kindly give me a reply back to let me know you received this email?

Synopsis of DON’T FORGET ME, BRO

DON’T FORGET ME, BRO deals with themes of childhood abuse, mental illness, and alienated families. The book opens with the main character, forty-two-year-old Mark Barr, who has returned home from New York to West Virginia after eleven years for his older brother Steve’s funeral. Steve, having died of a heart attack at forty-five, was mentally ill most of his adult life, though Mark has always questioned what was "mentally ill" and what was the result of their father’s verbal and physical abuse during their childhood.

The book unfolds into an odyssey for Mark to discover love for his brother posthumously in a loveless family.

DON’T FORGET ME, BRO is a portrait of an oldest brother’s supposed mental illness and unfulfilled life, as well as a redeeming tale of a youngest brother’s alienation from his family and his guilt for abandoning them.

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