I love Victoria Holt’s novels. They are totally clean–no porn, no graphic descriptions of physical acts between couples.
In fact, I don’t think the characters ever have sex until they are actually married, but there is never a “description” of the “wedding night.” (There is one novel, On the Night of the Seventh Moon, in which the protagonist is raped–again, no graphic description of the rape–and the plot is that she thinks was married and taken on a honeymoon, but everyone else tells her that she was raped and that the doctor gave her medicine to cause her to fantasize that the rape was actually something pleasant so that she would retain her sanity after such a horrifying experience. But she continues to insist that she is legally married and continues to search for her husband and father of her child. Who is telling the truth?!)
The plots are excellent mystery-adventures. There is a lot of historical background in each story. E.g., the novel I love best is called The King of the Castle, and it’s about a lady artist who specializes in restoration of paintings. Fascinating for someone like me who knows very little about painting. There is another novel called The Pride of the Peacock that’s all about Australia, a country that I find very interesting.
The characters are individual, well-developed, and memorable, the writing is well-done and correct (not amateurish), and the reading level is light and entertaining.
With one exception, the endings are always satisfying, and good always triumphs over evil. (The Legend of the Seventh Virgin is my least-favorite of her novels because the protagonist is thwarted–a similiar situation as the ending to Gone With The Wind. No happy ending. I know that some readers prefer that kind of story, though, to a “fairy tale.”)
The plots are set throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, so not all the plots are quaint or historical.
When Miss Holt was alive, she spent at least a year on each novel, so these aren’t the type of romances that are cranked out every two weeks.
I have all of the Victoria Holt novels and have read them all several times. So relaxing and fun. I wish she hadn’t died so she could have written more.
She has also written under two pen names, but I’ve not read many of these titles. Under one name, she writes a series of historical fiction about the history of England, which, I regret to say, I know so little about that I have a hard time understanding these novels.