by Patricia Veryan
***some spoilers if you’ve never read a romance***Time’s Fool, is an excellent beginning to Patricia Veryan’s second series of action/mystery/historical romances. Taking place 2 or 3 years after The Golden Chronicles, this series involves some of our old friends from the first series and introduces some intriguing new additions. We briefly catch up with Tio Glendenning, Dimity and Piers Cranford and her husband Tony, and Gordon Chandler, to name a few. We are introduced to some very promising new additions: Gwen Rossiter, The Falcons, and Jamie Morris.
Who could not love Gwen right at the outset? She tells her friend Naomi, our heroine, that she is so forthright and frank because she feels she doesn’t need to guard her tongue since no one would want to marry a cripple anyway. Then the gentle sweet girl proceeds to rattle and thwart the hot tempered and intimidating August Falcon. August is an intriguing piece of work. Veryan catches our interest right at the beginning by telling us that he is a half caste and not accepted by most of society due to his heritage. Yet he is rich, handsome and formidable. He is respected, and even feared. We are told he has the instincts of a scorpion. She then proceeds to put him in one comical situation after another which reveals that he is more than a one dimensional cardboard character. His nemesis, Jamie Morris, falls head over heels at first sight with August’s beautiful and reserved sister, Katrina, who is totally uninterested in this apparent “booberkin.” Quite simply, Jamie is a joy and a delight who amuses every time he opens his mouth. As does Tummett, Gideon’s “valet”. The slang and cant that comes out of these two characters mouths is hilarious. Patricia Veryan really amazes with her comical dialogue in this novel.
Gideon Rossiter and Naomi, the two principals in this novel are a little problematical and probably why I wasn’t all that fond of this one when I first read it. On this go round I liked them right away. Their antipathy towards each other at first set up the inevitable reconciliation to look forward to. They played off and fenced with each other very effectively. Some of their insults and wisecracks were pretty deadly. I loved the way Gideon found his pride and told off and stood up to Naomi. I loved Naomi’s bratty ripostes. When she somehow she found herself trapped awkwardly on a balcony and lost her shoe she really won me over. That scene, and several others in which she found herself in a pickle, as well as her friendship with Gwen and Katrina, and her treatment at the hands of her father, gained my sympathy and admiration, when otherwise I would have found her boring and two dimensional. I hated the way Gideon’s father, Sir Mark, treated him compared to his evil twin, Newby. He was so blind throughout, it was maddening. Gideon was so very long suffering and noble, it was a little over the top. But our author leavens his heroism with humor, some good confrontations with really despicable characters and legit derring do. Unfortunately, once Naomi and Gideon finally understood each other and reconciled, they were so besotted with each other, it was just a bit too much and verged on the cloying.
This first of the The Tales of the Jeweled Men sets up an intriguing mystery and conspiracy and starts to put the various players, both major and minor, in place for future appearances and their roles. All is far from resolved. We don’t understand what is going on at first, or the motivations. This will be revealed in the books to come.**4 out of 5 stars**
May 11, 2018