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Cecilia or Too Tall to Love by GL Robinson

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An absolutely delightful traditional Regency Romance by British author GL Robinson. Cecilia is a very tall young woman, set to inherit a modest amount of money, with which she plans to open a school for young, working class women.

Her aunt and uncle are keen to push her into marriage, and she ends up in a fake betrothal with a similarly maritally-pressured young man, Lord Thomas Allenby. Naturally, over time, their arrangement of convenience starts to take on a whole new nature.

Cecilia or Too Tall to Love is written very much with respect to the Regency era and its conventions. Cecilia’s plan to open a school is a plausible project in the time period, with teaching being one of the few occupations available to gentlewomen.

GL Robinson writes very evocatively of the Regency period, with descriptive detail of the gowns and costumes worn by men and women. This is also a key aspect of the plot in this novel. The hero, who is very rich and fashionable himself, insists on buying clothes for his faux-fiancée, since her own wardrobe is very drab. There are aspects of Pygmalion as his attentions essentially transform her – or rather reveal her – to be a beautiful and stylish woman in her own right. Yet Cecilia’s head is never turned by finery, she sticks to all her goals.

Aspects of this book reminded me of Georgette Heyer’s Arabella, which I also loved. Fans of Heyer should definitely try GL Robinson for authentic Regency Romance.