Indiscretion

( 6 )

Overview

When your father is a man of expensive tastes and schemes but very little money, you soon learn to make do. So when Captain Fortune, a well-meaning but profligate ex-soldier in Regency England, tells his daughter Caroline that they are ruined, she automatically starts seeking employment as a governess. Her father, however, has far grander designs for Miss Fortune...

Caro is to become the companion of Mrs. Catling, the rich, fierce widow of her...
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Overview

When your father is a man of expensive tastes and schemes but very little money, you soon learn to make do. So when Captain Fortune, a well-meaning but profligate ex-soldier in Regency England, tells his daughter Caroline that they are ruined, she automatically starts seeking employment as a governess. Her father, however, has far grander designs for Miss Fortune...

Caro is to become the companion of Mrs. Catling, the rich, fierce widow of her father's old colonel. As Mrs. Catling amuses herself by tormenting her relatives and servants, Caro resolves to make the best of the situation, and soon her beauty and intelligence attract the attentions of male admirers.

Surrounded by people with an alarming readiness to reveal each other's confidences, Caroline is exasperated to find herself implicated in their indiscretions. But will Miss Fortune be able to avoid losing her reputation without losing her head? And will she find at least one good man amongst the genteel set who will take her side, and, indeed, her fancy?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A clever, Jane Austen-like 19th-century English romance filled with parlor-room wit, Morgan's second novel (after Passion) follows the sharp-tongued and attractive Caroline Fortune as she's sucked into and spit out of a scheme cooked up by her father, Captain Fortune, to make them rich. The plan consists of installing Caroline as the companion (and potential heiress) to Sophia Catling, the wealthy and childless widow of one of the captain's old military chums. After arriving at Sophia's estate, Caroline finds Sophia to be a bitter hag whose nastiness only intensifies when Caroline receives a letter from an estranged aunt informing her that her father has died. Caroline leaves Sophia to live with her aunt's family at Wythorpe Manor, where she makes friends with the luminous Isabella Milner, who is preparing for her wedding to Richard Leabrook. Caroline soon realizes she's crossed paths with Isabella's intended and is torn between sparing Isabella's feelings or telling her about Richard's philandering ways. Caroline also attracts the attention of Isabella's brother, Stephen, a callous young man who enjoys trading barbs with her. Romances bloom and wilt in familiar fashions, but Morgan's colorful cast and sharp wordplay make the read a joy. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When circumstances force Captain Fortune, inveterate optimist and opportunist, to admit to his patient and long-suffering daughter, Caroline, that he can no longer afford the last in a series of decreasingly genteel lodgings, she has no choice but to go along with his final desperate scheme to see her provided for. After all, acting as a paid companion to the wealthy widow of Colonel "Devil's Eye" Catling, the Captain's former regimental commander, sounds no worse than taking a post as a governess her only other alternative. And the Colonel's widow, exacting and irascible though she may be, does introduce this pragmatic and self-reliant young lady to Regency England's most fashionable seaside resort during the height of the season with decidedly mixed results. Authentic enough to engage even the most demanding of Jane Austen fans, Morgan's (Passion) delightful second novel offers refreshingly original characters, an intriguing plot, and an elegantly ironic style that will appeal to even the most diehard Austen purists. Highly recommended. Cynthia Johnson, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Jane Austen revisited, in a Regency tale of manners and matrimony. After a novel devoted to the doom-and-gloom of the Romantic poets (Passion, 2005), British writer Morgan lightens the mood in this ironic social comedy laced with romance. Although overstuffed with witty wordplay and exaggerated characters, it rattles along briskly enough in the wake of its heroine, feisty Caroline Fortune, the 20-year-old daughter of a wastrel military captain whose gambling and general fecklessness force her to take up work as a companion to domestic tyrant Mrs. Catling in Brighton. While in Mrs. Catling's employ, Caroline is initially attracted to smooth Richard Leabrook, then repelled by his improper proposal that she become his lover. Soon after, Caroline's father dies in Bath and Mrs. Catling refuses her leave to attend the funeral, so Caroline quits the job. Penniless in Bath, she is taken in by her long-lost aunt and uncle, the Langlands, and soon moves with them to Wythorpe, in the country. There, Caroline meets, and is closely befriended by, the Milner family, sparring playfully and flirtatiously with eccentric son Stephen and becoming close confidant to daughters Isabella and Fanny, until the revelation that innocent Isabella is engaged to be married to libertine Richard Leabrook. What is Caroline to do? Morgan follows a predictable path to resolution in a story that borrows freely from Austen but lacks that author's originality, delicacy of touch and brevity of expression. A story that, like its heroine, is entertaining and spirited, if a little too fond of the sound of its own voice.
From the Publisher
"This lustrous historical romance…captures the spirit of early nineteenth-century Britain through the extraordinary lives of the wives and lovers of its greatest poets." —-Entertainment Weekly (editor's choice, Grade A)

"[One of] the best books of 2005. A remarkable book.... As the title suggest, it's about love and lust, but Passion concerns itself in almost greater measure with those romantic yearnings by which men and women live and for which they are willing to die…. A feast of language, a grab bag of delights.... An exploration of mind and emotion, heart and art."

-—The Washington Post Book World

"[A] deeply imagined and gorgeously written novel about the Romantic poets, as seen by the women who loved them…. Morgan brings a fascinating past to brilliant light."

-—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Whether historical or romantic fiction, or a melding of the two, this is a sensational story of money, marriage, and, above all, high-wrought emotion…. A sprightly, intelligent romp." —-Kirkus Reviews

"The wealth of detail and Morgan's amazing ability to re-create what these women might have thought and felt are worth savoring…. The novel encompasses enough love affairs and tragedy for a dozen bodice-rippers, without ever losing its clear-eyed intelligence…. Passion more than lives up to its title."

-—The Christian Science Monitor

"Astonishing historical fiction that vividly reflects the passions associated with an exhilarating new era in literature." —-Booklist

"Passion is a wonderful book—-rich, authentic, beautifully written and, yes, passionate…. I have not been better entertained all year." —-Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312374372
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/16/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 811,584
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Jude Morgan, who studied creative writing under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter, lives in Peterborough, England.

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Reading Group Guide

In Regency England, if you have a father with expensive tastes but no money, you must do what you can with your wits and your looks. So Caroline Fortune goes to work as the companion of a formidable society woman, and soon her beauty and intelligence attract admirers, both honorable and otherwise.

Surrounded by flirts and gossips, Caroline is implicated in their indiscretions. Will Miss Fortune be able to keep from losing her head--or her reputation--in this "clever, Jane Austen-like...romance filled with parlor-room wit" (Publishers Weekly)?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Really a fun read, with a strong female character. Plot twists a

    Really a fun read, with a strong female character. Plot twists a little predictable, but that's okay. Jude Morgan is among the closest to Jane Austen of contemporary authors -- much more depth to her work than many of the silly, inaccurate Regency romances out there -- which are just contemporary stories in long dresses, and with horses!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not so much original as entertaining

    Written very much in the style of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen. Reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice. Sadly predictable but fun and witty dialogue and a nice romance which is often all I require in a book. I defintely recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2007

    Funny, Funny, Funny!

    As a die-hard Jane Austen fan, I am constantly looking for novels that follow the same time period. This book falls right into place, carrying a witty humor throughout that kept me laughing until the last page. A fabulous book that I would recommend to anyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2006

    Deserves the Jane Austen comparision

    I've heard of lots of books compared to Jane Austen. This one actually deserves to be. The plots and characters would, for the most part, fit right into an Austen novel. It's even written in an old-fashioned tone that only occasionally shows its modern origins.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2006

    Jane Austen with a bit more spice!

    This book is absolutely delightful! Anyone who loves Jane Austen's novels will be absolutely entranced. Miss Fortune is an engaging and loveable character, you'll be cheering her on throughout the book. This is a MUST read!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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