SOMETHING LIKE A LADY
KAY SPRINGSTEEN & KIM BOWMAN
Rating: 3 Cups
Lady Annabella is a stubborn lady adamant about not following her mother’s dictates to go to London for a Season and find a husband. In order to throw everyone off her trail, Annabella sends her maid in her stead while she stays in the derelict cottage barely surviving on the food she steals and her last bit of lemon. Karma plays a trick on her when Lord Seabrook arrives as her stepbrother’s guest, planning to stay in her cottage.
Jonathan Durham, Earl of Seabrook, wants to get away from London for a while and escape all the matchmaking mamas. So when his friend asks him to travel to Haselmere to find the duke’s stepsister and make sure she is safe, Jon promptly agrees. Upon arrival he immediately recognizes Lady Annabella pretending to be maid Annie but decides to play along wondering how long she will maintain the façade.
Unfortunately for Annie, her cover is blown when she is caught in a compromising position with Jon, forced into a hastened wedding, then carried off to Jon’s ancestral home, Blackmoor Hall. For Jon, the wedding is the answer to both their problems in needing a spouse. All he has to do is convince his bride to stay married instead of getting it dissolved as she is so determined to do. From there on, a battle of wits and survival begins with the Dowager Duchess of Blackmoor playing the central role of mentor. Alongside there is an unseen danger and air of mystery regarding why Annie is at the cottage instead of London and what she is doing with a bag full of banknotes.
The prologue made an interesting start to the story and built expectations that this would be an interesting read. However, as I moved from the first chapter, it became hard to keep myself involved in the story when I realized Lady Annabella had not grown much in maturity from the prologue. Her stubbornness and reasons for staying back were childish and not sensible. She became a very predictable character who always acted before thinking and her curses became tedious after a time. Jon too is not a very mature character, at least when it came to Annie. He is a grown-up earl and he should act like one instead of acting like an adolescent boy who got married. On the other hand, the story really picked up when they reached Blackmoor Hall and in my honest opinion, Gran was the saving grace. She kept me entertained with her machinations and instructions while bringing out a sense of maturity in both of the central characters. I loved how she played and manipulated them into doing what she wanted. Even Annie’s mother kept me entertained. I did like the ending though, when at last Annie became something like a lady and showed more maturity and insight. Even their fights became endearing as they both grew up and finally fit into their personalities. While I am not happy with some of the vaguely answered questions, this is an entertaining Regency read.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More