- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Mills & Boon (3 November 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0263917363
- ISBN-13: 978-0263917369
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.3 x 17.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 200 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
The Discerning Gentleman's Guide Paperback – 3 Nov 2016
About the Author
Virginia Heath lives on the outskirts of London with her understanding husband and two, less understanding, teenagers. After spending years teaching history,she decided to follow her dream of writing for Harlequin. Now she spends her days happily writing regency romances, creating heroes that she falls in love with and heroines who inspire her. When she isn't doing that, Virginia likes to travel to far off places, shop for things that she doesn't need or read romances written by other people.
No customer reviews
|5 star (0%)||0%|
|4 star (0%)||0%|
|3 star (0%)||0%|
|2 star (0%)||0%|
|1 star (0%)||0%|
Review this product
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Bennett Montague, sixteenth Duke of Aveley, has plans to be Prime Minister within the next few years. He is stodgy, extremely correct, pompous, and austere. He’s followed his father’s plans for his life to the letter and now, the next part of that plan is to find a wife – after all – a Prime Minister must be married. A year ago, he wrote down and then published, some words of wisdom his father gave him for finding a wife. He’s put those into action and has now narrowed his choices down to five ladies who seem to meet all of the criteria. Some of the words of wisdom are:
• Marry a woman who thinks before she speaks. It will save you a great deal of time having to correct her …
• A wife’s first duty is to obey her husband. Therefore, it is the husband’s first duty to enlighten her as to what he wants her to do …
• Do not allow your passions to control your decisions. Passion soon dies, attraction fades, but a pragmatic union to an obedient wife will stand the test of time …
• When selecting a bride, choose a biddable woman who defers to your superior opinion in all matters of importance …
Amelia Mansfield pulled herself up out of the gutter through sheer will and determination. She’s a beautiful, petite woman who spent quite some time living in Seven Dials alone and on her own. She’s gone from living and working in the workhouse to being the companion to Lady Worsted whose nephew is the Duke of Aveley. Amelia loathes and detests anyone with a title – and she has good reasons – which you’ll learn as you read the book.
I’ve read a number of books with the ‘stodgy aristocrat shown the error of his ways by enlightened reformer’ trope. Those were good, but the reformers usually come across just a bit like cardboard. That isn’t the case here. You see and understand why Amelia feels as she does. Why she fights for the poor. Why she crusades for workers rights. It is because she has lived it and she understands it. This author does that very, very well in this book.
Bennett does his dead-level best to adhere to all of his father's principles for finding the perfect bride – until he meets the outspoken, opinionated, disrespectful companion to his aunt. She certainly has no respect for him or his title. As a matter of fact, she thinks of him as His Royal Highness the Duke of Pomposity and wonders if being so adored becomes wearing on him.
Bennett really is a reformer at heart, but what he believes is fact, really isn’t. He wants to help the slums of Seven Dials, but believes what most folks think about the poor – that they are slovenly, lazy and much prefer to be on the dole. In his mind, he sees them living in homes – just poorer homes, etc. He has no idea that many of them, even though they work, are forced to sleep on the street along with their children. With their meager earnings, they have to choose between a place to sleep for the night or something to eat. Bennett is aghast and heartsick when he learns the truth. His awakening and transformation are a wonderful thing to read!
This delightful story is almost conflict-free and totally character driven. To me, the only thing that would have made it better would have been the addition of an epilogue. I would have loved to see them 5 years out (or even less) with a baby or two and their reform projects up and running, etc.
Amelia Mansfield, the daughter of a viscount, and her mother were thrown out of their home, with no money, as her mother did not bear an heir for her father. He annulled the marriage and her mother died not long after. Amelia is now employed as a companion to Lady Worsted, Aveley’s aunt. They are now staying with him and his mother for the season.
Aveley has a method on how to choose the right bride, but Amelia breaks all his rules. He can’t understand why she’s not impressed with him. He’s attracted to her but doesn’t think she’d be a suitable wife. Until someone shows up at one of his mother’s teas and he learns much. No spoilers from me! This is a good, fun read.
What makes this tale is the skill with which the characters are drawn, and the details of the scenes they are set into. The descriptions of the clothing almost let's the reader slip into a rough wool coat for a short trip to Seven Dials.
In between the scenes and the clothes, the author slips in a bit of dry humor and a few bits of conflict. Some of the conflict is romantic, but, especially near the end, there are some wonderfully drawn tiny bits of violence.
All in all, this was a great book. At the end, there was a teaser for another book, which I now have to read and review.