By Lex Croucher
Publish by Zaffre
What’s it about?
A classic romcom with a Regency-era twist, for fans of Mean Girls and Bridgerton.
Abandoned by her parents in favour of a sea view, middle class Georgiana Ellers has moved to a new town to live with her dreary aunt and uncle. At a particularly dull dinner party, she meets the enigmatic Frances Campbell, a wealthy socialite and enchanting member of the in-crowd.
Through Frances and her friends, Georgiana is introduced to a new world of wild parties, drunken debauchery, mysterious young men with strangely alluring hands, and the sparkling upper echelons of Regency society.
But high society isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and the price of entry might be more than Georgiana is willing to pay . . .
Full of lavish parties, handsome men on horseback and laugh-out-loud humour, this is the summer read everyone’s talking about.
What I think:
Reputation shows a different side to Regency life. Instead of polite ladies and quiet drawing rooms, it’s wild parties and debauchery.
Georgiana is a well-brought up middle-class lady. Moving to town ti stay with her aunt and uncle she is hoping for adventure and glamour. Unfortunately, she has neither the status or budget for her aspirations.
Until she meets Frances Campbell.
Francess and her friends have staggering wealth and a level of freedom that Georgiana can only dream of. Every weeks there are parties, weekends away, drink and drugs. Protected by their wealth, they have little care for the consequences of their actions and their reputations.
Georgiana is drawn into a world that she both criticises and finds alluring. She is both horrified and shocked by their behaviour and desperate to join in. Despite her doubts there are times when she puts her better judgement aside and joins in the fun, even if means hurting people cares about.
Frances is a character you can live and loathe. She is charismatic and friendly, generous and charming she can also be selfish and demanding. She expects loyalty and friendship is on her terms. Georgiana begins by blindly idolising Frances and her friends but she soon sees the darkness lurking behind the smiles.
In contrast to Frances, Georgiana also becomes friends with Betty Walters. Polite and eager to please, she is a fantastic character. Georgiana finds her irritating when compared to her sophisticated new friends. But as the summer advances she starts to see that Betty could actually be a great friend.
I really enjoyed this book – it is fun and romantic and witty. The dialogue is fizzy and there are some very funny scenes. The book addresses issues if consent that are often missing from traditional Regency romances.
Georgiana really develops as a character. She sees both the good and bad of high society and discovers the qualities she truly admires in people.
This is a fun, very modern twist on a historical romance. A great read.