‘It’s not a fair world I’m afraid. Beauty or fortune carries the day. You have the beauty and I the fortune, so there’s every chance we’ll succeed’
In Regency England, marriage is everything. For young widow Sybella Lovatt, the time has come to find a suitable husband for her sister and ward Lucie. Male suitors are scarce near their Wiltshire estate, so the sisters resolve to head to London in time for The Season to begin.
Once ensconced at the Mayfair home of Lady Godley, Lucie’s godmother, the whirl of balls, parties and promenades can begin. But the job of finding a husband is fraught with rules and tradition.
Jostling for attention are the two lords – the charming and irresistible Freddie Lynwood and the preternaturally handsome Valentine Ravenell, their enigmatic neighbour from Shotten Hall, Mr Brabazon, and the dangerous libertine Lord Rockliffe, with whom the brooding Brabazon is locked in deadly rivalry.
Against the backdrop of glamorous Regency England, Sybella must settle Lucie’s future, protect her own reputation, and resist the disreputable rakes determined to seduce the beautiful widow. As the Season ends, will the sisters have found the rarest of things – a suitable marriage with a love story to match?
Author Bio –
Jane Dunn is an historian and biographer and the author of seven acclaimed biographies, including Daphne du Maurier and her Sisters and the Sunday Times and NYT bestseller, Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. She comes to Boldwood with her first fiction outing – a trilogy of novels set in the Regency period, the first of which is to be published in January 2023. She lives in Berkshire with her husband, the linguist Nicholas Ostler.
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My thoughts: if, like me, you’re a fan of Regency romances and Bridgerton, then you’ll love this – trust me.
Sisters Bella and Lucie are headed to London, to stay with Lucie’s Godmother, “Lady God” as Bella’s hilarious son puts it, for The Season. Having lived out in the countryside, they’re both feeling a bit like fish out of water. Even with their neighbours Mr Brabazon and his cousin Lord Lynwood as acquaintances and increasingly friends.
Of course every man they meet has a reputation and most of them bad. Bella might be a widow but she’s a bit naive, not willing to just believe the things she’s told and besides, her husband was a paragon. A Dragoon captain he died in the Peninsula War (the endless fight against Napoleon’s global ambitions) and few could measure up.
And that brings us to my favourite character – Bella’s totally hilarious, very adorable little son, who loves horses more than almost anything else. He’s also the source of the funniest lines, having learnt most of his speech from the groom Gem and his late father’s batman George. Not exactly Society speech. But he’s brilliant. I want whole books featuring him and his many horse based interactions. He reveals the softer side of many of the dashing rakes the sisters meet, most of them are horse lovers too and can’t resist a small pudgy hand asking to have a ride.
This book was really enjoyable, lots of fun, and quite funny. So do yourself a favour and return to the Regency and the Ton.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.