In 1999, Signet Regency Romance published Diane Farr’s first book. The Nobody was a knockout. Unlike many first novels, The Nobody was is a well-plotted book with an interesting and believable premise. Diane Farr’s writing is graceful and her characters unique and recognizable.
The heroine, Caitlyn Campbell, is the eponymous Nobody. She is the daughter of minor gentry, in town for a season under the aegis of her aunt, a baron’s widow. One night, having heard herself denigrated by a duke’s daughter, she walks home from a ball and, in the dark, runs into a mysterious man who needs her help to escape some thugs.
There was just enough light to discern a tall man, who appeared to be in evening clothes, running toward her at top speed. She caught a glimpse of a gleaming white shirtfront and flying cape before he caromed into her with an exclamation, grabbing her arms to steady himself. Quick as thought, he pulled her with him into the recessed doorway, swinging her body in front of him so her back blocked all view of him from the street.
“Forgive me,” he uttered, and immediately pressed his lips to hers.
The rest is, well, the story. I encourage you to find it and read it.
Diane followed up The Nobody with Fair Game, Falling for Chloe, and Once Upon a Christmas, all Traditional Regencies, three of which were RITA finalists. And then she gave us four longer, Historical Romances. Her first Historical, The Fortune Hunter, is one of my favorites.
Like her Trads, The Fortune Hunter is elegantly written and fun to read. Its hero is George Carstairs, Baron Rival, whom we met as a less-than-heroic character in Falling for Chloe. The Fortune Hunter not only redeems George, it shows him as a thoroughly loveable character without actually changing who he was in Falling for Chloe. Diane Farr does a wonderful job of exploring the depths of George’s character, revealing why he behaves as he does and reclaiming him with the love of a good woman.
Their lips met. For the first time, they kissed with nothing to hide. For the first time, there were no barriers between their souls and no game to win or lose. For the first time, both knew that they loved, and each knew that love was returned.
It was a fairly shattering kiss.
I also encourage you to find this and read it. You won’t be sorry.
After The Fortune Hunter, Diane Farr published two books of what I think was meant to be a trilogy. Then, although her books had won multiple awards and were universally beloved by those who read them, she found herself without a publisher. Those of us who re-read The Fortune Hunter with embarrassing frequency were despondent.
This year—yay!—Diane Farr is back amongst the published. Or, more precisely, the e-published. But she has left the world of the Regency for contemporary YA—wait for it—paranormal. As you probably know, my paranormal reading is relegated to fairly normal paranormal, that is mostly humans with special powers—you know, Harry Potter.
But I willingly downloaded Wicked Cool without being quite sure what I would find simply because it was written by Diane Farr and I knew that meant it would be well-written. To my delight, the heroine, Zara Norland, has extraordinary powers but is not a vampire. This coming of age story is about Zara learning about and dealing with these powers.
At school I am a complete loner, because it’s the only safe thing to be — for someone like me.
But away from school, I have Meg. She is a true and excellent friend. I’ve always believed that if you have one true and excellent friend, you are luckier than most. And to have Meg for my true and excellent friend? That made me luckier than anybody.
Tonight, I don’t feel so lucky.
I guess it’s dangerous to have someone, even an incredibly loyal someone, who knows all your secrets.
That just may be the saddest thought I’ve ever had.
Zara is a delightful, conflicted, totally human teen-aged girl. I loved her. I loved the book. And I look forward to the next in Farr’s SpellSpinner series, YA or not, Paranormal or not. YA seems a natural transition for her Traditional Regency voice. While Wicked Cool is totally different from the Regency world, Diane’s unique voice comes through loud and clear. Welcome back.
The Republic of Pemberley