I can always spot a Victoria Alexander from an aisle away. Mostly because her book covers are always beautiful (and usually sport a nifty stepback so that I can get a little help imagining the characters).
But beyond the beautiful cover, I often lose myself in the world painted by Alexander. Reluctant rakes, mischievious debutantes, and a variety of other hist-ro classic subplots that are as comfortable as a worn pair of pjs on a blistery winter day.
One of my favorite things about Alexander is her witty repartee between characters which I find warm and funny, and often bearing the ring of truth in its cadence. Good dialogue is hard to find, and even harder to write, which is what makes most Alexander reads entertaining. Although not all of her books are homeruns, they are quick beach reads that will make you smile.
Here is an excerpt from What a Lady Wants:
Felicity stared down at him. “Have you no shame? No morals whatsoever?”
“What do you mean?” he said cautiously.
“I mean—” She thought for a moment. “I suppose before I make any accusations regarding your morals I should determine if you are or are not a burglar.”
“Fair enough.” She could hear the grin in his voice. “I can assure you I am most certainly not a burglar.”
“Are you sure?”
“Why should I believe you?”
“Good point. I have no idea.” He thought for a moment. “I would think, if I were a burglar, I probably wouldn’t be taking the time to chat with you. Furthermore, if I were a burglar I certainly wouldn’t be plying my trade with the lady of the house present. It’s obviously a sure way to get caught.”
“That would depend on whether you were a good burglar.”
“Oh, I would be a very good burglar. However, I am not.”
She sighed. “No, I don’t suppose you are.”
“You sound disappointed,” he said slowly.
“Not precisely. One should never be disappointed to learn one’s home and family are safe.”
He stepped nearer and stared up at her. He was almost directly beneath the balcony now. She couldn’t make out his features but his voice was surprisingly nice. “And yet you definitely sound disappointed.”
“Well, if you’re not a burglar then you . . . It scarcely matters.”
“I should be happy to rob your house if you wish.”
She scoffed. “Don’t be absurd. I have no desire for you or anyone to rob my house.”
“That is a relief. I haven’t the faintest idea how to properly rob a house and I should hate to be found out.” He chuckled. “A man could get shot that way.”
“A distinct possibility.”