Regency Gossip: When a Bluestocking Is Like a Blogger
A final installment from the Lords Trilogy, In Which We Meet a Viscount in Love with Lord X, Gossip Swirls, and a Marriage is Forced
Badass: Ian Lennard, Viscount St. Clair – on the surface he’s a libertine with a wandering eye, but underneath lies a painful past, strong convictions, and a distinguished record of service to his country that it will take a VERY “tart-tongued, self-righteous spinster” to unmask.
Falls For: Lord X – no, it’s not m/m. Gossip columnist Lord X is really Felicity Taylor, society architect’s daughter and penniless wielder of London’s most notorious pen. She may be more of a badass than Ian. Pen mightier than sword, etc.
Brought To You By: Sabrina Jeffries, in The Dangerous Lord (2000) (re-issued 2009)
Hangs Out In: 1820′s London, where he has returned after a decade or so as an expat and (of course!) brilliant spy for His Majesty’s government.
Likes: Keeping secrets secret; covering up his distinguished service record; triplets; Spanish endearments — querida — inexplicably slip out during intimate encounters.
Dislikes: Being forced to find a wife in order to gain his inheritance (but he’ll suck it up and make it happen once he encounters feisty Felicity.)
Badass Annoying Moment: Forcing Felicity to the altar.
Badass Hero Moment: Forcing Felicity to the altar. She’s actually kind of annoying in staunchly and ridiculously insisting that marriage to Ian would be The Most Awful Thing. Ever.
(too) Frequently Described As: Brooding.
Is it a Badass Read? This is the final book in a trilogy of Lords, and I was distracted by the appearance of the other two heroes, whose stories I had not yet read. My bad, for reading out of order. That aside, it was an enjoyable, quick read, buoyed by SJ’s characteristic deft and funny dialogue. Although these are not characters that will linger everlastingly with me once I close the book, Felicity is slightly more memorable due to her bullheadedness. Both are variations of the Regency rake and bluestocking. Honestly, I had a hard time remembering details about what Ian likes/dislikes to do with his time, other than the usual gentleman’s pursuits. The most memorable characters in the book are the housekeeper Mrs. Box (and isn’t that the perfect name for a housekeeper?!) and Felicity’s younger brothers (think slightly older versions of the manic triplets from Brave!).
I quite like the rake/bluestocking trope, and I liked the attention devoted to conveying something about Felicity’s writerly craft. She was the equivalent of an influential blogger with 1000′s of followers, and/or a power Twitter user. As a new book blogger and super newbie Tweet-er, I found myself quite sympathetic to her near-constant worry about finding sources (access) and material for her next post, er… column. While at the same time it’s clear she really loves her work and her writing.
What do you think? Are you up to here with rakes and bluestockings? Do you think this match-up is eternally popular with readers for transparent yet genuine reasons having to do with growing up bookish in a culture that celebrates beauty…?
Filed under: Rakes, Spies Tagged: A Dangerous Lord, bluestocking, book review, brains & beauty, forced marriage, Gossip, historical romance, Regency rake, regency romance, romance fiction, romance review, Sabrina Jeffries, Tom Brady