Read: September 2023
I have been dipping my toe into the Regency Romance pool over the last couple of years. After the Netflix series, I did get a little obsessed with Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books in early 2022 (I read all by the last one because they did get a bit boring). Then in early 2023 I just devoured Lisa Kleypas’s The Wallflowers series.
I would describe A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting as more on the Bridgerton end of the scale – it’s got more of that modern Jane Austen fan-fic vibe. The characters do feel very modern. The plot of this book is not dissimilar to Secrets of a Summer Night where we have a heroine taking desperate measures to find a husband in order to save her family from ruin. However, Sophie Irwin (this being her debut novel) is not yet quite as skilled as Lisa Kleypas at creating characters and chemistry, and I did not quite feel Kitty’s desperation in the same way that I did with Annabelle.
That is the general problem with this book. It’s strangely lacking in any chemistry. Most of it feels very flat, it didn’t make me feel.
- I thought that Kitty was an interesting character, I enjoyed her ruthless approach to finding a husband and her honesty. She is pragmatic, bold and supremely confident in her abilities. At no point does she wonder if she can do it, she knows her powers and is willing to test the limits.
- I did like Lord Radcliff too, although he is maybe a little bland and could have been lifted out of any romance novel. I did enjoy the playful way he decided to just roll with Kitty’s schemes.
- I always enjoy good honest communication in a romance! The inevitable proposal scene was straightforward, to the point and not overly mushy or sentimental.
What didn’t work
- The first 60% of this is pretty dull. It wasn’t until past that point that the story picked up, I did have two late nights up reading this after that but before that, it had been putting me to sleep quite quickly!
- There is no passion! No spice! I don’t need to have a full-blown sex scene, but I need a bit of something. I want to feel the lover’s attraction to each other. There is nothing in this – no tingling, no quickening breath, no licked lips… no nothing.
- I would have liked to have got a POV from Cecily, it sounds like she was having lots of fun over the other side of the novel!
- In fact, honestly, it sounds like all the characters had way more fun than Kitty. Something is hinted at going on between Lady Radcliff and Aunt Dorothy which we never really found out about!
It’s an entertaining enough book, perfectly OK – solid 3 stars. This was a debut, and I would pick up Sophie Irwin’s other book, the first chapter of that included at the end of this one did hint that it might be a bit spicier than this one was! If you’ve read it, let me know!