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by Joan Smith

While translating what she believes is nothing more than a love letter written in German, Miss Cathy Lyman uncovers top secret information about Napoleon, and, with the help of Lord Costain, she plunges into the world of international intrigue. Original.
Download The Great Christmas Ball epub
ISBN: 0449221466
ISBN13: 978-0449221464
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Erotica
Author: Joan Smith
Language: English
Publisher: Fawcett (October 4, 1993)
ePUB size: 1402 kb
FB2 size: 1856 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 470
Other Formats: doc mobi doc lit

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Another Joan Smith winner. In this book, we have a spy drama involving a young woman who assists her uncle in translating documents. When Lord Costain decides to intercept a letter he thinks may reveal a spy in the Horse Guards, he takes the message to Cathy Lyman's uncle, but Cathy is the one he winds up dealing with. In a New York minute, Cathy finds herself up to her ears in a spy drama.

Now, here's the fun part, Cathy's brother, Gordon, has been sent down from Oxford and he has no plans to return so he's full of vim, vigor, and up to all the rigs. Once he becomes involved in the game, the story becomes delightful. When these books cause me to laugh out loud, then they're well worth the small amount of $$ I paid for such entertainment. Between Cathy's sensible, analyzing outlook and Gordon's willingness to place himself in disguise, cold weather and hours of watching and following, the story is very engaging.

Then of course, there's the beginnings of a romance brewing between Cathy and Costain - if only she can figure out whether he's a good guy or a bad guy. Truly enjoyable story in which Gordon literally steals the show.
I love the way this read like the screenplay for a 1940's comedy with its tongue firmly in cheek. Lawrence Olivier and Vivien Leigh would have been perfect in the starring roles. However, the Regency details are muddled, which frosts me exceedingly as a true fan of Jane Austen. The author needs to review the restrictions relating to social functions and interactions between young women and men. Young women simply did not go on casual "dates" with men, much less multiple men. Men did not visit unchaperoned women. It aids the plot, but Cathy's virtue was irrevocably compromised by about Chapter 2.
I have read quite a few Joan Smith books and enjoyed them. Her books are not serious reading so should be judged for their light hearted, clean, quirky treatment of Regency England. Smith's best moments include her humor. The brother was hilarious, the pug dog a clever addition, the plot a slightly confusing romp which kept the reader guessing. When you need a chuckle or two and light reading, this is a good choice.
This is the first opportunity I've had to do some reviews, and even though we are long past Christmas, I simply must say I enjoyed this book so much.

Just when I thought I could not endure another morose, lovelorn H, this book came along. It has a very well-done mystery, some first-rate humor, and the H and h are delightful.

Definitely one of my favorite Christmas reads.

Strongly recommended for your holiday pleasure, however far away that might seem at the moment :-)
Humor and wit. This brother is funny. T h e family relationships are polished. The hero cool and also funny. Good dialogue.
Not one of her best, but still enjoyable.
Interesting insight into earlier Regency Romance writing. Good references to the diplomacy of the period. Really enjoyed the development of the characters. One historical detail inaccurate: pistols of this era rarely had multiple shots (i.e., no six-shooters, one or two barrels only in common use).
To me, the interesting aspects were the interactions of the adults, the calm development of the romance, and the complexity of the spy story. The search for the spy was written extremely well.

My funnybone must be out-of-whack because I didn't see the hilarity in Gordon's behavior. He was an adolescent who behaved like an adolescent. Initially, he gave me a couple of chuckles but then he should have been sent to bed.

I see that another reviewer criticized the errors in historical details. The reviewer is absolutely right and that's what I've gotten in every Smith novel I've read. So, I rarely read Smith these days.