FOR THE BACHELOR AND THE BLUESTOCKING…
Certain that no man wants a bluestocking for a wife, Miss Jane Lowndes is careful to wield her books and her spectacles as weapons against matrimony. Convincing her ambitious mama that she's content to stay a spinster is easier said than done, however. It's a good thing Jane is not above a bit of manufactured scandal if it will keep her from the altar, and the argumentative, contrary Lord Garrett Upton…
ROMANCE IS NEVER BY THE BOOK
With the war over, Garrett is determined to enjoy his bachelor's life while he can, even when it means attending a house party in celebration of a friend's wedding—and suffering Jane's notorious disdain. But when a masquerade ball leads to a mistaken kiss, he's surprised to learn that Jane's bookish exterior hides a truly passionate soul. When two such headstrong people are determined to remain unattached, can love lead to a happy ending?
Bowman's third Playful Brides Regency (after The Accidental Countess) hinges on an unlikely attraction between a bluestocking and a bachelor. Jane Lowndes prefers books over social outings. While reluctantly attending a house party prior to her friend Cass's wedding, Jane trades barbs with Garrett Upton, an attractive ex-military man who stands to inherit an earldom. Jane believes he is the most profligate of rakes and wastes no opportunity to tell him of her opinions. However, when they meet at a costumed ball and neither realizes the identity of the other, their mutual attraction threatens to spin out of control. Jane is soon drawn into competition for Upton's attention, as a beautiful widow seeks every opportunity to gain his favor. The scintillating sex scenes between Upton and Jane are intensified by the tension of the love triangle. Fans and newcomers alike will enjoy this installment, rich with fully developed characters and a plethora of witty banter.
This book is way too much fun. No one writes better characters than Valerie Bowman!
What a thoroughly enjoyable book. The vibe throughout the story was always upbeat and funny. The humor was very refreshing. The constant bickering between Jane and Garrett gave the appearance that they didn't like each other. It's like when you were in kindergarten and a boy called you names, it wasn't because he didn't like you but because he did. That's how I saw Jane and Garrett. What would the story be without Lucy and her schemes, which was almost the backbone of the book. And the ending? What a great segue to the next book about Daphne and Captain Cavendish. I can't wait to read more from this very talented author.
Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Great Summer Read - sure to leave you with a smile
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.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.