This lighthearted Regency is a fun little comedy of manners. It’s well researched and the style reminds me a little of Georgette Heyer, but updated so non-Heyer fans can easily follow without getting mired in the narration. The cast of characters is delightful and the dialogue is snappy. I particularly liked Elroyd, Mr. Harding’s butler.
Mr. Richard Harding is several years older than Miss Georgiana Rowland. He was the one to set her on her first horse and the one to stand up with her at balls. His feelings over the years have developed from friendship to love. He wants to marry Georgie, but is uncertain if she feels the same and for years wasn’t fully prepared to risk their friendship. He can pine for her if she doesn’t know his feelings, but if she did and didn’t return them it would be mortifying.
But now he is no longer content with pining, he wants her as his wife. He just has to propose first. When he does his character gets in the way and Georgie thinks he’s trying to be funny and is not truly sincere. What follows is Mr. Harding’s series of proposals – will he ever get it right so Georgie truly understands?
In the meantime, Georgie is launching her younger sister out on society while their mother languishes indulgently in the background. (It doesn’t make much sense but if you go with it and let it go, it doesn’t get in the way… well at least not until a complete rake comes on the scene… ) Their stickler of a mother only makes an effort when the scandalous Lady Shipton comes onto the scene by flatly declaring the girls are not to have contact with the woman.
Georgie likes Lady Shipton, but is willing to listen to her mother until the woman performs a kind service by protecting her sister. This kind act proves to Georgie that Lady Shipton is a true lady and she is prepared to go to battle over the issue and seeks her uncle’s aid.
This leads to wacky results and the entrance of Lady Shipton’s stepson who takes an immediate liking to Georgie, much to Mr. Harding’s dismay. What’s he going to do when another buck is on the scene, an earl at that, who is also willing to propose to Georgiana? Why propose again!
Rating: 4 Stars