Welcome to my review of a new historic romance by Valerie Bowman. The third in her Playful Brides series, this is the second that I have read, and thoroughly enjoyed this historic romance.
The Unlikely Lady
The second I have read in this series, The Unlikely Lady works well as a standalone title, even as you will want to read the earlier books in the series. Characters, their banter and interactions and the solid growth of the relationship kept me interested and engaged, and the nodding references to Much Ado About Nothing were clever, adding a familiar sense of what is to come in a completely unique way.
Jane has decided she will live her own life on her terms, content to hide away in books while appeasing her own curiosities, she’s developed quite a reputation as a bluestocking. While her two best friends, Lucy and Cass are supportive, they are enjoying their own happy ever after, and she’s not able to avoid her mother’s interferences as easily. With Cass’ wedding approaching, Jane invents a chaperone to accompany her, and is planning on crafting a tiny scandal to firmly remove marriage from her future.
Garret rounds out (to Jane’s dismay) the trio of girls, as Lucy’s cousin, he’s been a part of every scheme for ages. His intention is always to rein in his rather sharp-tongued and daring cousin, but he gives as good as he gets, and is often integral to their plans. He and Jane have a ‘tolerant’ relationship, usually, but they will both state that the other is odious.
Just a plain old FUN story to read, Bowman’s characters are complex and developed, the dialogue is rapid-fire and often hilarious, and these two battle like children in a sandbox: Garret trotting out the ‘superior male’ approach and Jane doing everything in her power to show him up as a fraud. The long-standing acquaintance of these two, more alike than either will admit, makes for wonderful banter that truly gets under their skin, despite all protestations to the contrary.
While Cass and Lucy have decided that these two are perfect for one another, they are willing to ‘go along’ with Jane’s plan for a tiny scandal, using Garret as the bait. Slowly but surely they start to realize that the sparks between them are not caused by dislike, but are tiny embers that signify attraction. Neither one is wishing for marriage or to give up their dreams, but the attraction just may be more than they can resist.
A delightful installment to the series, perfect for fans of lighter historical romance that carries with it a nod to classic stories that will become apparent as you read on. These are great summer reads, sure to leave you with a smile.
Title: The Unlikely Lady
Author: Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides #3
Also in this series: The Accidental Countess, The Irresistible Rogue, The Unforgettable Hero, The Untamed Earl, The Legendary Lord, No Other Duke But You
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Published on: 5 May 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 9 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Miss Jane Lowndes is a confirmed bluestocking. She's convinced that if she can wait out her parents' demand that she marry, someday she can be a confirmed spinster and hold intellectual salons, her fondest dream. No man wants a bluestocking for a wife, after all. And that's exactly the way Jane likes it. In fact, she's invented a fictitious chaperone to help her achieve that purpose.
Lord Garrett Upton is a devil-may-care confirmed bachelor. He's lived through the war, and now that he's back in London, he intends to enjoy life to the fullest. Marriage is certainly not a part of that plan. He's known Miss Lowndes for years, and the two of them have long engaged in a war of words. Jane's latest scheme to pretend she has a fake chaperone is none of his business . . . until her desire to involve herself in a scandal becomes all too personal.
When Garrett and Jane mistakenly kiss at a wedding party masquerade, their well-documented dislike for each other is turned on its ear. And when a devious widow, who will stop at nothing to have Garrett, plots to keep them apart, will their desire for each other overcome their dreams of remaining unattached?
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A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.