Kate Harper's Lady Libertine

(Credit: Kate Harper)

Straight out, I’m going to say that I love regency romance. I’ll read any Georgette Heyer I find lying about and will try new authors at the drop of a hat. It’s like comfort food for me in book form. As soon as I’m tired or depressed, I get the craving to download a new volume. Which I guess is the great thing (some would say the dangerous thing) about having a Kindle with a 3G connection, where I can buy books almost anywhere.

Lady Libertine really hit the spot when I bought it. Lucy Landon is exactly my kind of heroine — not particularly attractive, but possessed of a brain (shock horror) and a sparkling wit. She has been on the shelf for too many London seasons to hope she will ever find a husband and finds that she can’t face the future that awaits her: her horrid mother expects to marry an equally awful new beau and will move to his tasteless house with any unmarried children.

Luckily, Lucy has a plan. A friend of hers heads up the London Times and pays her to write a column detailing salacious gossip from the many parties she attends. She’s so surely going to end a spinster that no one looks at her anymore, allowing her to watch many ill advised trysts and report them in the paper under the name of Lady Libertine.

One of the targets of her barbed words is Lucius Ransom, the twelfth Earl of Hammersley, who Lucy saw dallying not once, but twice, with someone else’s betrothed — something of a habit for the rake.

Her writing lands him in hot water and Lucius, nicknamed Rand, decides he will find out who Lady Libertine is. From here it follows the usual regency formula, but there was something in the story and the characters which really captured my imagination. I’m going to give it a 3.5.

I also read another of Kate Harper’s which was more run of the mill Regency — His Wayward Ward. I wouldn’t really recommend it. I wasn’t a fan of the main character, who was a ditsy young girl. I’m only going to give it 2.5.

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