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Book review: 'Rescuing Rosalind' is an Austen-esque romance

Editor's note: This is one of a trio of novels are Regency era love stories by local authors that are sweet and keep the romance to kissing and feelings of longing, despite reputations to uphold and obstacles of pride and others’ scheming.

"RESCUING ROSALING," by G.G. Vandagriff, Orson Whitney Press, $7.99, 201 pages (f)

In a time of strict propriety, Fanny "Rosalind" Edwards seems to always be toeing the line of scandal.

A creative, free and adventurous spirit, Fanny feels eternally bogged down and stifled by the rules of society.

At the age of 17, a year before her coming out, Fanny meets Captain Buckingham Kernow-Smith in a topiary garden, while she is disguised as "Gannymede" as she plays the part of "Rosalind" from Shakespeare's "As You Like It."

The captain quickly unmasks her, in a meeting that will change both of them forever. However, Buck leaves the next morning to return to his ship, and return to the ward in the fight against the French — and the two separate on unfavorable terms.

Three years later, with the war over, Buck returns to society where he encounters Fanny again, now a grown and beautiful woman. But to Buck, she will always be Rosalind.

With "Rosalind" constantly pushing the bounds of propriety, and Buck, who finds society boring and confining after his time at sea — the two make a dangerous pair when they are together. Their adventures and plans, if discovered, would mean complete ruin for Rosalind's reputation.

Mormon author G.G. Vandagriff really puts Fanny/Rosalind into some tight spots as "Rosalind" fights her desires and dreams against the rules of propriety.

But it is Buck who might find himself in the tightest spot of all. With his lifelong aversion to marriage and a dark secret from his past, Buck realizes that truly saving "Rosalind" from her biggest scandal might come with a lifelong price he isn't sure he wants to pay.

Vandagriff's Regency Austen-esque romance is perfect for any reader who loves a good old-fashioned romance and can enjoy the journey of two people learning not to fear love while learning how to have faith in each other.

While "Rescuing Rosalind" is a romance, there are no inappropriate scenes — though kissing and romantic longing are mildly described.

Hikari Loftus is a graduate of the University of Utah.