The Battling Bluestocking by Amanda ScottThis newly-reissued novel begins with two ladies and a gentleman in a stagecoach. We get descriptions of the pomona green sarsnet gown and chinchilla muff, and then up rides a dashing highwayman. The regular reader of Regency romance knows immediately that this will be a satisfying example of the genre.

Then Miss Jessica Sutton-Drew reaches into the muff, grabs the pistol concealed therein, and shoots the highwayman.

So, yes, this is a bit different from the typical Regency romance. Jessica argues with the hero about slavery, an episode which ends in the first kiss, and continues arguing with him throughout the novel, as she and her relatives (as well as the hero and his relatives) find themselves in numerous intriguing tangles involving abductions, human rights, scams, crimes, historical events, and courtroom drama.

The book contains plenty of emotion, lots of period detail, and three dimensional characters. I liked having a smart heroine and a serious treatment of serious issues.

Several of Scott’s books are being reissued, and fans of well-written romances should rejoice.