It is whispered behind the fans of London’s dowagers and in the corners of the fashionable ballrooms that scandal follows wilfully wild Lady Beatrix Lennox wherever she goes. Three years earlier, the debutante created a sensation by being found in a distinctly compromising position. Now the ton has branded her as unmarriageable, her family has called her a vixen, and Beatrix sees no reason not to go after what – and who – she wishes.
And she wants Stephen Fairfax-Lacy, the handsome Earl of Spade. Beatrix, with her brazen suggestions and irresistibly sensuous allure, couldn’t be more different from the earl’s ideal future bride. Yet Beatrix brings out a wildness in him that he has tried to deny for far too long. Still, he’s not about to play love’s game by Lady Beatrix’s rules. She may be used to being on top in affairs of the heart, but that will soon change.
I’d heard of EJ, of course I had. She’s a best selling writer after all however this was my first EJ read (the first of many).
But that’s all I knew. I had a name but these days a best selling book can be as much about the marketing as about the words and I’d been disappointed before: those glorious bright shiny balloon books searing through the charts turning out to be soggy bags of hot air and wind.
That said I took a chance and approached this blind. I didn’t read a review. I didn’t check her writing credentials. I just read, over two days and nights – it’s a long book, an unputdownable book. My favourite read of the year up to now book. I’m digressing…
I was confused at the start. My fault. I’d read the blurb and then found none of the characters I was expecting in the first chapter – duh! I even sneaked a peek at the back (not to be recommended) in case this book wasn’t for me. But I didn’t realise as well as being a composite story teller EJ is a clever one. I didn’t realise she is an English Prof with a love of all things Shakespeare – however, I did sort of work that one out for myself. There’s a Shakespearean comedic feel about this book. Things not what they seem, people running in and out of the wrong bedrooms in the style of a Twentieth Century drawing room farce not what they seem kind of way. I was strongly reminded of probably my favourite romance of all time, Possession by A S Byatt by the end, not that they are in any way alike apart from the poetry.
A.S is one of my favourite writers. She’s also a very clever one. However these are very different books, one a English literary masterpiece, the other an historical American one. They are pitched at very different readers and different markets and written in different styles but the research is impeccable, the writing flawless and the plot… well let’s just say I’m thinking of rolling over and catching up on some sleep.