This is a book that was not at all for me, but other people will like much more than I did. I wanted to like it. It’s an homage to Jane Austen, but with magic and dragons. The things I didn’t like are mostly your mileage may vary kinds of things. I find stories in which the protagonist tells an easily discovered lie or is engaged in a three racoons in a trench coat kind of disguise very stressful.
Elinor Tregarth is living with her aunt, uncle and cousin as the poor relation. Her cousin, Penelope, has no redeeming qualities. Penelope has a dragon, to whom she is unkind, and is getting ready for her debut. Elinor runs afoul of her cousin and uncle over the treatment of the dragon and ends up marching away with the dragon and no prospects of hope for the future. She is promptly knocked into a muddy ditch by a carriage containing Benedict Hawkins, and his scholarly friend Mr. Aubrey. Through a series of events, Elinor ends up back at her cousin’s house, with everyone thinking she is a grand society matron. Except for the people who figure out she is not, and then blackmail her.
Everything works out in the end of course. I did enjoy Sir Jessamyn, the dragon. I just wish there had been significantly less deception and blackmail. Elinor has to juggle a lot of blackmail, plus keeping her brutish uncle happy enough that he not torpedo her younger siblings lives. It was stressful!
I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley. My opinions are my own.