He's racing to win back his reputation
Having hired a balloon to get him to Paris in a daring race, Lord Boyce Parker is simultaneously exhilarated and unnerved by the wonders and dangers of flight, and most of all by the beautiful, stubborn, intelligent lady operating the balloon.
She's curious about the science of love
Eve Mountfloy is in the process of conducting weather experiments when she finds herself spirited away to France by a notorious rake. She's only slightly dismayed—the rake seems to respect her work—but she is frequently distracted by his windblown physical magnificence and buoyant spirits.
What happens when they descend from the clouds?
As risky as aeronautics may be, once their feet touch the ground, Eve and Boyce learn the real danger of a very different type of falling...
Praise for The Rake's Handbook:
"Orr debuts with a charming romp. The witty repartee and naughty innuendos set the perfect pitch for the entertaining romance. Though there are serious themes and carefully researched historical details, its the banter and sensuality that are sure to enchant readers."—RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
Orr's second Regency romance (after The Rake's Handbook) begins with a hot-air balloon ride and then descends into incoherence. Lord Boyce Parker is attempting to win a race that requires him to reach Paris from London; he rents the aeronautist Mountfloy's balloon and is carried off with Mountfloy's daughter, Eve, as his only companion. Eve, an aspiring scientist, finds the race nonsensical, but she's determined to prove to her father that women can contribute to scientific inquiry. Unfortunately, after they crash-land in Sussex, various plot contrivances involving Eve's father's misogyny and Boyce's family are handled without nuance. The inconsistent characterization of Boyce charming friend one moment, total fool the next leaves the central romance a mishmash of set pieces that never coheres. It's refreshing that the lady is a logic-driven scientist and the gentleman an emotional beauty, but novelty is insufficient to carry the book.
Customer ReviewsSee All
3.5 stars – rounded
3.5 stars – rounded
The first I have read in this series or by this author, I was captivated by the cover and the idea of a balloon race. A fan of the film, Around the World in 80 Days, I loved the idea of ballooning, especially with a female pilot.
Sally Orr has crafted a story that is very much a ‘mood read’, you have to be willing to go with the often ridiculous antics of Boyce, and have some patience with the less charming Eve. Successfully adding some funny moments, the story is not angst ridden or notably comic, and there are some quirks of characterization that border on overdone, but racing from England to France to win adulation and respect isn’t a realistic option either. Have fun with this romance, and enjoy it for what it is: a fun story that will entertain and amuse.
Boyce is in the doghouse with his father after having published The Rake’s Handbook – a purported guide for men of a certain age who wish to build their credentials in a dubious way. As a character, Boyce is rather unique, prone to breaking into song at random unexpected times, he’s a touch impetuous and perhaps seen by many as flighty and shallow. As the youngest son, he’s constantly fussing for attention from his father, to no avail. The race to Paris provides him an opportunity he doesn’t feel he can pass up, so he arranges to hire a crew to pilot a balloon across the channel.
Eve is obsessed with her own intellectual pursuits pertaining to weather, and ballooning allows her the opportunity to gather data and test theorems. The lack of interest in ferrying Boyce across the channel is only supplanted by her desire to continue experimenting. Stubborn, curious and a bit humorless in the whole, Eve is a direct contrast to Boyce’s rather overblown personality. But, she agrees to the challenge, and is determined to gather data and experiment along the way, no matter Boyce’s objections.
These two have interactions that vary between rather stilted to flowing, with a solid basis for a friendship between them. Boyce shows himself to be more than just an inappropriately singing lord, and Eve is able to explain and share her curiosity. As the plot moves forward and the two move from friendship and regard to love, there were some moments that didn’t quite connect for me, but in keeping the story to the sweeter side served the characters well.
Well plotted with details and descriptions that added to the ability to visualize, as well as solid historical details mixed in made this an enjoyable and fast paced read, perfect for a rainy afternoon when you just want to be entertained and happy in the end.
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.