In the first hilarious entry in her brand new series, USA Today bestselling author Maya Rodale re-invents a love story we all know and cherish.
Lord Darcy is the epitome of perfect…
Lord Darcy is the quintessential Englishman: wealthy, titled, impossibly proper and horrified that a pack of Americans have inherited one of England’s most respected dukedoms. But his manners, his infamous self-restraint and better judgment fly out the window when he finds himself with the maddening American girl next door.
Lady Bridget is the opposite of perfect…
Lady Bridget Cavendish has grand-but thwarted-plans to become a Perfect Lady and take the haute ton by storm. In her diary, Bridget records her disastrous attempts to assimilate in London high society, her adoration of the handsome rogue next door, her loathing of the Dreadful Lord Darcy and some truly scandalous secrets that could ruin them all.
They cannot stand each other-and yet they cannot stay away…
It was loathing at first sight for Lady Bridget and Lord Darcy. But their paths keep crossing…and somehow involve kissing. When Lady Bridget’s diary goes missing, both Darcy and Bridget must decide what matters most of all-a sterling reputation or a perfectly imperfect love.
The London Weekly
By A Lady of Distinction
All of London is talking about one thing and one thing only: the arrival of the seventh Duke of Durham. His Grace, we are told, hails from America, of all places in the world, which begs the question of how this came to be.
Older readers—or younger readers who bother to visit their aged relatives and actually listen to them speak of scandals from days of yore—will recollect the Great Scandal of 1784 in which the sixth duke’s brother, the Lord Harry Cavendish, beloved rake, absconded to America with the duke’s prize horse. This horse-thieving younger brother had done a stint in the army, as second sons are wont to do, especially when they are so obviously unsuited to clergy. Whilst stationed in the colonies, he happened to fall in love with an American woman. It was a love so great that he would forsake family, country, membership at White’s, and a voucher for Almack’s.
After extensive sleuthing this author has been able to determine that Lord Harry Cavendish established a farm in Maryland where he bred and trained racehorses, raised his family and refused to use his title. His son, the new Duke of Durham, followed in his footsteps.
So yes, dear readers, a horse farmer from the colonies now holds one of the loftiest titles in England. His arrival is expected any day now and this author has it on excellent authority that he is bringing three sisters of marriageable age. Let there be no conversations about a dull season, for this one is sure to be most entertaining . . .
The entire story was essentially a love letter to all things P&P-related (especially Bridget Jones’s Diary , of course!), with a few other fun references (Mean Girls) thrown in. So. Much. Fun! So many highlights!
There’s a wet shirt scene. Excuse me– two . And kissing in the rain.
I adored Lady Bridget’s endearing clumsiness, her quick humor, her earnest attempts to fit in to London society, and how much she loved her family. And of course, her diary entries:
Lessons in proper etiquette avoided: 27
Lessons I should not have avoided: 27
Reception in English society: dreadful
Times I have thought about Darcy in his wet shirt: 27
Times I have felt something resembling lust when I think about Darcy in his wet shirt: 27
Times I have written “Rupert and Bridget” in my diary since Lady Winterbourne’s garden party: 0
I am dreadfully confused.
“Looord” Darcy was absolutely delightful–even when he’s being an a**, as any self-respecting Darcy must be; since we saw his side of the story, we understood better why he was doing and/or saying things that seemed less-than heroic on the outside. Plus, his first name is Colin. Obviously, I’m going to love him, even when he’s–well–being a Darcy.
Lord Darcy knew that there was only one thing to do when one’s equilibrium was disturbed, and that was to stand very still and patiently wait for the world to right itself.
(That one made me want to just go over and give him a consoling hug. Though of course that would have horrified the poor man, it would have made me feel better.)
Didn’t she realize that he couldn’t, just physically could not, say such thoughts aloud? He was English, for God’s sake.
God, he’d given her the wrong idea. He was terrible at proposing and at not-proposing. And people thought he was perfect. Ha.
Seriously, just OMG. It’s really not safe to try and ingest liquids while reading approximately 2/3 of this book.
Their romance is simply lovely, with just the right amounts of misunderstanding, pride, prejudice, lust, and yearning from afar in there, with a healthy dose of smoldering glances thrown in just because. Darcy even says my all-time favorite BJD quote! And then when they’re finally together? Le. Sigh.
All of the “American Cavendishes” are fantastic characters–such a fun and delightfully quirky family; even the dreaded duchess (AKA Aunt Josephine, but don’t call her Josie!) becomes likable by the end–I can’t wait until they all have their own books. Amelia’s story is next–a good chunk of it is going on during Bridget’s, though we get hardly any details–and it just cannot come out soon enough. Fortunately, Ms. Rodale has quite the backlist to keep me occupied in the meantime, and yay! some of them are even on audio so I can more easily squeeze them in during the semester 🙂
(I do have to admit there were several bits that were even less historically-accurate than in your typical Regency romance–there’s a pretty big one near the end, when Bridget says something I’m fairly certain no one in that period would “get” let alone say–I just couldn’t let it really bother me. But if you’re a stickler for that kind of thing, consider yourself warned…)
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and it wasn’t long before she was writing her own. Maya is now the author of multiple Regency historical romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.