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Bond, Meredith

Bond, Meredith

PERSONAL: Married; children: two. Education: Degree from University of Pennsylvania; earned master's degree (secondary education). Hobbies and other interests: Knitting, collecting books.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—P.O. Box 341413, Bethesda, MD 20827. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Has worked as a fundraiser and a teacher.

AWARDS, HONORS: Winner of Royal Ascot Writing contest, 2002; Gold Leaf for best Regency romance, 2004, for Miss Seton's Sonata.

WRITINGS:

"MERRY MEN QUARTET"; REGENCY ROMANCE NOVELS

Miss Seton's Sonata, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Wooing Miss Whately, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Love of My Life, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Dame Fortune, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Meredith Bond was first introduced to Regency romances as a child by her mother, who loved the novels of Georgette Heyer, one of the seminal writers of the genre. While raising children of her own, Bond began to imagine her own Regency plots, heroes, and heroines, and she soon started writing down her stories. In 2002 she won the Royal Ascot Writing Contest, which led to a two-book contract. The first of those two books, Miss Seton's Sonata, won the Golden Leaf award for best Regency romance in the year it was published.

Miss Seton's Sonata, Wooing Miss Whately, Love of My Life, and Dame Fortune make up the "Merry Men Quartet" of books. Reviewing the first installment in the series, Miss Seton's Sonata, Cathy Sova noted in Romance Reader that the book "has an entertaining story at its core," even though the reviewer thought the plot and characters feel somewhat contrived. The main character, Teresa Seton, is half-Spanish, a pale, shy girl with a talent for playing the piano. While on a sojourn in London, an aunt makes arrangements for Teresa to practice her music at the house of a neighbor, the marquis of Merrick. Richard, the marquis, is a widower who devotes himself to working for an orphanage. Returning home to find Teresa playing his piano, he pretends to be a servant, and the two strike up a friendship. When circumstances force them to marry, Richard tries to remain loyal to his deceased wife, but finds himself increasingly attracted to Teresa.

The quartet continues with Wooing Miss Whately, which tells the story of Sinclair Stratton, a viscount who becomes involved with an American woman named Sara Whately. As the plot unfolds, it becomes obvious that Sinclair and Sara have a connection in their past that involves a family estate. The tale is moved along by a series of coincidences.

Love of My Life is something of a prequel to the first two books, and is marked by "flashes of humor, a brisk pace, and a gorgeous hero," as Kristin Ramsdell stated in Library Journal. The story concerns Cassandra Renwick, who is humiliated by the insincere attentions of an earl. Leaving London, she joins her parents in India, but finds society just as stifling there. Ramsdell praised the book for providing an insightful look into the social workings of nineteenth-century India and England. The series concludes with Dame Fortune, in which a fashionable young man, St. John Fotheringay-Phipps, is taken to heart by the unconventional Rose Grace, the daughter of a well-known archaeologist. The two are united "beautifully" in this romance, according to Ramsdell in another Library Journal review.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2005, Lynne Welch, review of Love of My Life, p. 1763.

Library Journal, April 15, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Love of My Life, p. 68; August 1, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Dame Fortune, p. 61.

ONLINE

Meredith Bond Home Page, http://www.meredithbond.com (November 15, 2005).

Romance Junkies, http://www.romancejunkies.com/ (November 15, 2005), Brooke Wills, interview with Meredith Bond.

Romance Reader, http://www.theromancereader.com/ (November 15, 2005), Cathy Sova, review of Miss Seton's Sonata; Judi McKee, review of Wooing Miss Whately.

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