Yay for a cover that matches the book!
Georgette Frost’s time is almost up. On her twenty-first birthday, the protections outlined in her late parents’ will are set to expire. With prospects for employment or marriage unfavorable at best, she decides to leave London and join her brother, Benedict, on a treasure hunt for gold sovereigns stolen from the Royal Mint.
Lord Hugo Starling has always felt protective of his friend Benedict’s sister, Georgette. So when he discovers her dressed in ragged boy’s clothes, about to board a coach for parts unknown, he feels duty bound to join her search. But mystery piles upon mystery as they cross England together, not least of which is the confounded attraction between them. As Georgette leads him to a reward he never expected, Hugo realizes he’s embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime…
^^^^ See what I did with the spelling!
There aren’t many authors whose books I’d pick up when they advertise two of my three most hated historical romance tropes: the heroine in breeches, and the treasure hunt. (The third is the “duke who is a spy”.)
However, I have really enjoyed most of the books Theresa Romain has written, and so I took a chance. Her books are often lighter-hearted, but usually they’re funny rather than trying to be funny.
Firstly: the silly boy’s disguise disappears near the beginning of the book.
Secondly: the treasure-hunting adventure wasn’t some relentless tale of mad capers. This was at least as much a ROMANCE, with strong character development, as it was anything else.
And that is what is so special about this author’s books: the characters take their time, have quirks, and fall in love despite all the conflicts and flaws (Kate Noble is another author who does this).
There are some steamy scenes, but there is no conventional sex scene in this book. Even the first kiss comes a while in – and I liked this pacing. Even when they’re pretending to be married, hero and heroine are not jumping into bed together.
These two characters are a little strange, and have many issues to work their way through.
However, they are both great fun, and genuinely enjoy spending time together. The forced proximity worked because it wasn’t some obvious attempt to throw them straight into passionate love.
One other thing I absolutely love is that Romain often writes characters who are *slightly* socially below those in most Regency romances. Yes, the hero of this one is the son of a duke, but he’s a *younger* son, with almost no chance of ever inheriting, and so he has a career instead: medicine.
Romain’s use of British English has improved. It’s nice to see words like pavement in this book.
HOWEVER, a sentence ends with a FULL STOP, and never a “period”. Many a Regency author from North America uses expressions like ‘put a period to their stay in Northumberland’ – this makes absolutely no sense.
I enjoyed this book because everyone in it was slightly different. It’s nice to have some new ideas in an almost-overused time period.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.