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A few cruel twists of fate and the conventions of mourning mean that Lady Edith is having her first season at twenty-three… and in the Regency, that makes her practically an old maid. With her mother on the verge of accepting any proposal Edith might receive on her behalf, Edith is desperate to find a husband on her own terms, and preferably one she can like and respect, maybe even love. Fortunately, she has her brother Miles on her side, a former soldier who will take no nonsense and won’t force her into anything. He’s willing to give her as much leeway as she needs.
The truth is, Edith would actually really like to get married. Targeted by the unscrupulous for her hefty dowry rather than her person, in an act of desperation she decides to place an advertisement in The Times’ newspaper’s Lonely Hearts column.
I have to admit I laughed at the responses Edith got… but not in surprise. Any woman who’s ever joined a dating app has received responses just like that, ranging from those trying to take financial advantage to the blatantly, repulsively sexual. I really felt for her despair. And then I felt absolute fury because the hero of this book knew she placed the ad (although she didn’t know he knew) and decided to write to her anonymously and basically vent to her as though she was his unpaid therapist.
OMG, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wanted to punch him in the mouth. Edith did get to give him the most wonderful set-down, and he was certainly made aware of not just that he’d made a mistake, but the shocking magnitude of his actions and just how awful it was to abuse Edith’s trust that way. To give him credit, he does do an epic grovel, and I did understand that he was in a situation of enormous stress, trained mental health therapists not exactly being thick on the ground in the Regency era.
The author references You’ve Got Mail as part of her inspiration, and I could definitely see the parallels in the story, but the problem for me was that I never liked that movie. There’s an inherent power imbalance when one party knows the identity of their correspondent where the other does not, and unlike many power imbalances, it’s one that could easily be corrected with a little bit of honesty. The failure to disclose is a moral failing on the hero’s part I really struggled to get past.
I did have some issues with the editing of this book too; there were a few too many typos and incorrect terms for me; things like ‘goaler’ instead of ‘gaoler’ and the phonetic ‘blaggard’ instead of ‘blackguard’. I am reviewing an ARC and will give the author the benefit of the doubt in assuming these issues will be cleaned up before publication, but if not, they might wish to consider a final professional proofread next time around. For the hero’s moral failings, I’m afraid I do have to knock off a star (although I liked both Edith and the book’s premise) and give this a final rating of four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via Rachel’s Random Resources.
One of my favourite Regency authors - which means I gobble up her books and wait impatiently for the next one! Light, enjoyable, clean, wholesome, generally authentic as to modes, manners and restrictions, and free from annoying editting errors or non-English spellings, this is a relaxing read and fun escape from 21st century realities.
I really enjoyed this story. I loved the details setting the story in the Regency era. It was very interesting to gain an understanding of a medical condition as it was understood at the time. Also the treatments used to treat or control it. Wonderful complex characters that come alive.
Loved it! I found it a totally different plot to other books I have read. Hard to put down and couldn't wait to get back to it. Notes by the author at the end were interesting. For a relaxing feel good read this is a must.
A very enjoyable story with a sensitive treatment of the faults and foibles of the characters. There is also a witty and amusing series of interactions between the main protagonists which make the plotlines flow easily together.