It's a rare delight to find an author with a wide tonal range. Frequently, I can pick up a book by a beloved author and know that I'll find something light and fun. When I want something a little darker, with a bit more angst, I'll reach for another author. But occasionally an author can handle both ends of the spectrum with style and grace. Connie Brockway is one such author. She has written some of my favorite light-hearted Historicals and has also written the deeply angsty All Through the Night. She pretty much covers the range in between but today I'd like to talk about the extremes.
All Through the Night, published in 1997, is a dark historical romance (quite literally, as much of it takes place after sundown). The hero, Col. Jack Seward, was rescued from a workhouse by his mentor and trained to be a weapon, doing his mentor's bidding in service of the government. The heroine, Anne Wilder, while the widow of a nobleman, was the daughter of a thief and learned well at her father's knee.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have The Bridal Season, published in 2001. Our hero in this is Elliot March, a war hero who is now the local magistrate in the small town of Little Bidewell where the heroine, Letty Potts, a music hall entertainer and former con artist, arrives impersonating Lady Agatha, a Victorian wedding planner who has been hired to manage the wedding of a local girl to a marquess.
Let's compare some scenes.
[Spot the differences!...]