Lucy shrugged out of the borrowed garment. “I went … out.”
Her sister gaped at her. “Do you mean you went outside? Dressed like that?”
“You’ve seen me in trousers before.”
“Yes. Trousers to work in the greenhouse, which is scandalous enough,” Lydia choked out. “But to go out, where someone could see you … You look like a—”
“Boy?” Lucy finished. She removed the hat, and several pieces of her newly cut hair swung forward to just barely graze her chin. “’Tis rather the point. Better to be thought a boy, I think, when one traipses unchaperoned through the streets of London.” She smiled cheekily. “I need to guard my reputation, you know.”
Lydia reached out a trembling finger to touch Lucy’s hair. “Oh, Lucy … what terrible, awful thing have you done now?”
Lucy shook her head, testing the feel of it against her neck. Her hair didn’t feel terrible. Neither did it feel awful. “I’ve sold it.” She blew several insistent wisps of hair from her eyes, wondering how to contain them. Now that she’d removed her cap, the shortened strands seemed a bit … excited by their newfound freedom. “In fact, it was your idea.”
“How, exactly, was this my idea?” Lydia sounded close to hysterical.
“You encouraged me to find a way to earn the money to reach Cornwall on my own. You told me to find something to sell, so I visited the wig makers. Did you know they pay more for blond hair?” Though … not much more. She had a total of fifteen shillings in her pocket. By her calculations, if the sum was added to the loose change from her desk drawer, she had enough to get her to Cornwall. Now she just needed to find
The Spinster's Guide to Scandalous Behavior: The Seduction Diaries
Series: Seduction Diaries
Format: Paperback; 400 pages
Publisher: Avon (November 24, 2015)
'At first glance the package seemed rather innocuous. About ten inches square and wrapped in brown paper, it sat on the butler's silver salver like a large, plain cousin to the dainty white letters that surrounded it. Its appearance sparked some mild curiosity. but then again, most correspondence did...'
Lucy Westmore's fate seemed sealed until a mysterious package arrived two weeks after her elusive aunt died. The letter included began:
I know you must be surprised to receive this package, given that by now I am quite dead. But I suspect someone--probably a man--will try to thwart my wishes, and so I have taken this step to ensure my intentions are honored...'
Included in the package. among other items. were the diaries of her aunt E, and a deed to the late woman's estate. While Lucy had only met her aunt once many years ago, she must have recognized a kindred spirit when she saw one. For to Lucy's surprise, many of the thoughts and sentiments expressed by her late aunt were very similar to Lucy's own. Her aunt had knowingly bestowed upon her a tremendous gift. She'd given her the freedom to choose her own destiny. The ability to decide if she wished to marry a peer of the realm or take charge of her own fate. Oh, the things she could and would now do and she had Aunt E's diaries to help guide her...
This was such a amusing story that I couldn't read it in public. I kept breaking into fits of giggles at the most inopportune times. Yet despite that, the novel managed to hold a good deal of depth which I found to be a lovely combination.
Lucy is a strong willed, intelligent, opinionated young lady who is not looking forward to her first season in London society. It is something she's been dreading for some time. While most ladies of her peerage would be excited and looking forward to finding their future husband, Lucy is not. She sees things as they truly are and knows love matches are a rare occurrence. She wants to be wanted for who she is, not for what she can bring to the union. She doesn't like having to hide her personality and intelligence behind a demure mask, She doesn't want to be another person's property and lose herself in the bargain. Through her aunt's generosity, she's been provided with a means out and in the middle of the night she makes her big escape.
Lord Branston "Thomas" is quite familiar with society's dictates. He inherited his wealth and title of marquess at an early age. He'd also been left in charge of his young sister whom he hadn't done his best to protect. Falling into to ruin, she'd become pregnant and her funeral sent him spiraling down a dark road that seemed to have no end. That is until he encountered a very opinionated old lady with a good heart who set him on the right track. He owes her a great debt and when her very like minded niece comes to town he knows he, or at least his heart, is in trouble.
What made this novel so delicious is that Thomas through knowing Lucy's aunt knows her as well or at least feels like he does. This of course causes some problems because Lucy didn't know her aunt, at least not until she reads her diaries, nor how the two interacted. So the teasing/flirting she receives from Thomas as he falls into an easy rapport with her can at times easily misconstrued which can lead to trouble between the them as Lucy doesn't recognize his particular brand of humor. Plus, Lucy isn't as bold or as worldly as her aunt. At least not yet.
I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. The heat between these two characters was searing and it was fun to watch how Lucy dealt with it all. I absolutely loved Thomas and his reason for wanting to acquire Lady E's property. It's the sort of story that puts you in a good mood with a smile on your lips for a good long time after reading it. I highly recommend this one. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating - too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.
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