My December choice for Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club is Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase, an audiobook of a Regency romance which, dear FCC, I got with an Audible credit and listened to on my iPad. While it isn’t a holiday book, I do think it would be a fun read for the holidays, if you’re in the mood for love and laughter.
Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase
Carsington Brothers series
Audiobook read by Kate Reading.
This is one of the most enjoyable Regency romances I’ve read in a while. In a word, hilarious.
Benedict Carsington, Lord Rathborn, aka Lord Perfect, is a paragon of gentlemanly virtue. He sits in the House of Lords and works with law enforcement. A widower, he shuns scandal if not the company of women. He has also taken on responsibility for his 13-year-old nephew Peregrine, Lord Lyle, who is misunderstood by his parents.
Bathsheba (emphasis on the first syllable) Wingate describes herself as the “most notorious” woman in Britain. She doesn’t deserve that reputation, but she is a member of the “Dreadful DeLucey” branch of her family, descended from an ancestor who turned pirate, or at least smuggler. A widow, she struggles to raise her 12-year-old daughter Olivia, who has inherited most of the dreadful DeLucey traits, by teaching drawing to young girls.
The four meet at an exhibit of Egyptian antiquities. Olivia and Lyle get in a conversation that moves swiftly to argument. When Peregrine informs Olivia that girls can’t be knights, she hits him with his sketchbook, knocking him to the ground. Bathsheba makes Olivia apologize to Peregrine and explains that she has tried to give Olivia to the gypsies, but they refused to take her. Naturally, Benedict is intrigued. He and Bathsheba are thrown together and the attraction is mutual and instantaneous. Each one knows nothing can come of it, but they haven’t made allowances for Olivia’s machinations.
When Olivia decides to run away to search for buried DeLucey treasure, Peregrine goes with her to keep her out of trouble, knowing Uncle Benedict won’t be far behind. He hasn’t made allowances for Olivia’s ingenuity. Benedict and Bathsheba follow, only to end up in hilarious and improbably situations, including a public brawl with a group of drunken louts on the Bath Road. So much for Lord Perfect. Everything comes to a head at the estate of the respectable branch of the DeLucey family.
The book is well-written and the dialogue and inner thought are wickedly funny, but listening to the expert narration by Kate Reading made the book even more fun. I can’t wait to read Peregrine and Olivia’s grown-up romance.
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