Olivia and her sisters are unconventional and dowry poor. Olivia couldn't care less about polite society because she is highly intelligent and doesn't enjoy being left out of stimulating conversations because she is a woman. Unbeknownst to everyone, Olivia has taken to writing highly debated political articles under a presumed name. If anyone ever finds out who is writing these articles, Olivia will not be the only one to face the recriminations. Her sisters would undoubtedly suffer right along with her.
Enter John, Earl of Wrexham. He has returned home from war thinking that for the sake of his son, Prescott, (Scottie), it might be best to find a proper wife. However, the boy has other plans when he believes his father has chosen a woman he doesn't like.
When Olivia arrives at John's home, it is only a matter of time before he figures out she is behind the political articles. However, instead of blowing the whistle he offers her a proposal that will help in his efforts to support war veterans. Sounds like a plan...until some political enemies kidnap young Prescott.
The story starts off like many other historical romances these days, with a heavy handed attempt to ensure the modern reader the female protagonist is a strong, independent woman who defies the rules of society. The set up is pretty much routine with the Earl looking for a proper wife but instead finding himself attracted to Olivia who is anything but proper.
The only saving grace is the precocious Prescott who says and does things typical of a boy his age and is absolutely adorable.
This story was OK, but at this moment in time the defiance of society's rules, in regency period especially, is a theme I am beginning to grow weary of. I'm hoping to find a little more depth, some meat on the bones, if you will. I often feel like I am reading the same story over and over again, just with the names changed. A few of my all time pet peeves cropped up as well, such as modern phraseology or idioms used that were not spoken in this period of time, such as “ not a snowball's chance in hell” an idiom first recorded in the late 1930's. I realize authors can't stick to the period precisely because the modern reader wouldn't be able to relate, but I do like as much authenticity as possible.
I applaud those who had the courage to stand up for their beliefs, to fight convention in order to bring about much needed change in politics and in women's rights. So, from that stand point the book is inspirational.
I did like Olivia, but the Earl was sort of bland. The mix up with “Lady Loose Screw” was pretty funny; the banter between the sisters was delightful, and gave the story some charm and humor to round it out some.
Overall, there isn't much in this one that sets it apart, however it is a light escapist read and was enjoyable enough.
Proper young ladies of the ton-especially ones who have very small dowries-are not encouraged to have an interest in intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the only thing they are encouraged to pursue is an eligible bachelor.
Preferably one with both a title and a fortune.
So, the headstrong, opinionated Sloane sisters must keep their passions a secret.
Ah, but secret passions are wont to lead a lady into trouble . . .