Today at the Pink Heart Society our very own Natasha Oakley brings us a swashbuckling romantic comedy called
'The Abduction Club'.
I owe my discovery of 'The Abduction Club' to Historical author and fellow Romantic Novelists' Association 'Romance Prize' nominee Nicola Cornick. Since Nicola's books are auto-buys for me I take a recommendation from her very seriously. So it was I picked up the DVD in WHSmith's.
She's absolutely right. This film is pure fun and leaves you with the slightly worrying conviction that what you really want in life is a handsome nobleman to whisk you away on his horse.
'The Abduction Club' is set in 1780 and is based on factual events. Irish law in the late 1700s dictated that only the eldest son could inherit his father's estate. (A very silly idea which I'm sure did absolutely nothing for sibling relationships.)
Younger sons were left with the choice of either becoming a priest or a soldier - unless they married an heiress. With this in mind they, very enterprisingly I feel, formed themselves into the Abduction Club.
Lots were drawn to determine which member got the next attempt to gain himself a wealthy wife. Byrne, played be Daniel Lapaine, sets out to kidnap Catherine, played by Alice Evans, the eldest of the two Kennedy sisters.
Bryne (Lapaine) is a little ... erm ... too confident of his success and he's careless in his 'preparation' (the club prefers it if the girls are willing) and the bungled abduction is very, very funny.
Not only is Catherine (Evans) not inclined to accept Bryne (Lapaine), his friend Strang, played by Matthew Rhys, kidnaps the younger Kennedy sister. Anne, played by Sophia Myles, is only 17 and club rules state abductees must be at least 18. When Bryne and Strang refuse to return the girls immediately they're both expelled from the club.
For decades the Abduction Club has operated on the 'knife edge of the law', tolerated because of their honourable intentions and chivalrous behaviour towards their 'victims'. With the abduction of Anne (Myles) everything changes.
Mr Power, a scheming landowner, fully intends to marry Anne himself but his rescue of the Kennedy girls is foiled when Anne decides she doesn't want to be rescued. (Sensible girl.)
Unable to leave her sister to her fate, Catherine (Evans) has to follow. Now, particularly since a British soldier was wounded in the attempted rescue, Bryne and Strang are wanted by the law and on the run with the girls.
Not only do the boys have to win the hearts of the Kennedy sisters they also have to escape the gallows.
There are so many moments I love in this movie. Sophia Myles, in particular, is brilliant.
Matthew Turner reviewing for ViewLondon.co.uk says:
The result is an entertaining, if undeniably silly slice of pure Mills & Boon, plucky heroines, heaving bodices and all.
Which probably says it all. :)
The Abduction Club is a really fun way to spend 96 minutes.
Matthew Turner is a silly man who doesn't realise bodices can't heave - it's the bosoms inside them that do the heaving. Yet even he liked it!!
At the risk of getting slapped by Nicola Cornick who I'm sure would give it a 10/10, I've decided to give 'The Abduction Club' a Pink Heart fuzzy rating of 9 out 10. See what you think!
Natasha's newest release, 'Crowned: An Ordinary Girl', is available in store in both the United Kingdom and North America from mid February and online at eharlequin now.
Read an excerpt here.
You can check to see how Natasha is getting on with her life, her diet and the misbehaving daughter of her current hero at her Blog.
And, throughout February, Natasha is blogging on eharlequin.com. Come and play by clicking here.