Okay, I need to stop laughing long enough to type this review. I decided to read this book because I have read this author’s work before and found it well-written lighthearted entertainment. In my opinion, it is safe to say that she surpassed her other effort with this new tantalizing Regency Romp featuring a madcap heroine that would rival some of the best in the light historical romance genre.
Penelope Fairweather breezes into the home of the staid Duke of Blackthorne turning everyone on their ear (oh speaking of ears, she tweaked the Duke’s ear the first moment she met him). With pet goat, Lady Bathsheba, in tow and a tale of a gentleman-like highwayman on her lips, she captivates the duke’s mother and sister. It takes getting drunk at her first family dinner to captivate the duke’s grandfather. But the duke? No, he’s not enchanted with his new house guest and plots ways to see the last of her.
Penelope is not the handsomest of girls and she is a walking disaster, but she has arrived in London with the help of the duchess to have a season and hopefully find a husband. The duchess knows that dire actions are needed if Penelope is to stand a chance so she hauls in help in the form of her modiste, Madame Bellefraunde who is much more than she seems. Madame is intrigued and opts to take on Penelope’s social skills training and it’s an uphill battle to say the least. Penelope goes from one social disaster to the next. The duke has finally had enough and delivers an ultimatum. Have a successful evening at the next ball or else!
In between, social comportment lessons, trying to help Anne the duke’s sister with her courting woes, and just plain staying out of trouble where the duke is concerned, Penelope stumbles and bumbles her way to finding a chance of happiness in an unlikely place.
As to the plot, it was fun, zany and left me full of heartwarming laughter as I became a cheerleader for the hapless Penelope. I will say that this story is one that laughs and winks at itself constantly so you can’t go into it taking it seriously or you’ll be in for quite a shock. The characters and their antics are meant to amuse. Now, while this is indeed a comedy, that doesn’t mean that it is loose and disorganized. The plot threads were visible and easily followed. The characters though farcical were still created with a layer of depth. Historical accuracy? No, not so much, but it’s not meant to be.
In the end, I read the last page with a huge smile on my face and a sense that I had been properly entertained by a delightful Regency Era historical romantic comedy.
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