A recommendation by Malin!
Yeah okay I debated whether to give this a four star or a five star review and then thought SCREW IT. I really, really enjoyed this one. Every time I was ready to be disappointed by the next plot turn, with the inevitable meeting of my modern day sensibilities with the realities of 1800s England gentry, Chase surprised me with time-appropriate plot resolutions that made my little romance novel loving heart sing.
In glancing through some of the less-than-glowing reviews, people seemed to dislike the multiple plot threads. They’re not exaggerating–primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, etc characters and storylines abound. It actually brought to mind my old favorite, The Grand Sophy, which I now uncomfortably recommend due to the virulent mid-novel anti-semitism. Lydia, cut from the same cloth as Jessica of Lord of Scoundrels, is Sophy except with no great fortune to backstop her wits and daring. As a matter of fact, the entire novel reminded me of everything I love in Georgette Heyer–a constantly evolving, tightly interwoven comedy of errors and characters with minimal tension and lots of amusement.
I’d even wager to say that Lydia is slightly better a character than Jessica, who is limited in her scope by her station. By virtue of being Lydia Nobody, she can be a investigative journalist of seemingly limitless luck and ability to sneak around. Is she a bit on this side of Mary Sue in her ability to be both a muckraking paragon of truth shining and author of a fantastically popular serialized romance adventure story? WHO CARES.
I just loved all of it. Tamsin and Bertie are the best. Lydia and Vere are the best. Dain and Jessica show up and while she was always the best Dain has improved a thousandfold (simply by being married) and now they are the best that they alluded to. I never wanted this book to end and was so happy that it had all the extra plot lines, because it gave us even more time with all of these lovely characters.