After I devoured ‘A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting’ this time last year Sophie Irwin became a “must-read” author for this regency romance loving fool. Therefore, it was not a surprise to anyone when I finished the second Lady’s Guide novel in just 2 days.
Advance warning: haters of love triangles need not apply!
Ten years ago, Eliza gave up her first love in order to be a good little daughter and marry as her family wished. Now she is 27, widowed, wealthy and her first love has just strode dreamily into the room; the world should be hers for the taking right? Wrong! Regency England and a sneaky little morality clause are here to ruin Eliza’s day!
As you may have gathered from the synopsis, this novel has the bare bones of ‘Persuasion’ about it. However, I would not say it is a Persuasion retelling (mainly because this would make a lot of people very angry with me!). I adore Persuasion and the premise between the two novels is similar but , in my opinion, Irwin almost modernises Eliza as a protagonist.
Eliza starts off as a very malleable, agreeable young woman: she dances, talks of the weather and falls in love with men who will rescue her. But what I really, genuinely loved about A Lady’s Guide to Scandal is how Eliza grew into her own main character. Yes, that means she makes mistakes and causes a scandal but that also means that she is able to recognise that, although two people may love each other, that does not always mean they are compatible. Eliza is a woman now, she is different and requires something different from her partner. And that is what makes this regency novel stand out from the rest.
I must admit I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I did with A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting, Somerset blew hot and cold way too much and Melville never seemed sincere. Eliza also did her fair share of annoying me when she was constantly tearing up. Margaret however, was my spirit animal. I’m going to need a Margaret novel next please! Her HEA was signposted clearly but was nevertheless amazing when it arrived!
For me, the ending of the novel felt a little rushed and I would have liked a little more of a glimpse into the future of the characters but perhaps that’s just me being greedy?
Can you tell I loved this book?
Binged Queen Charlotte?
Desperate for the new season of Bridgerton?
This is the answer my friends.
A Lady’s Guide to Scandal is released on 31st August 2023.
Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book so that I can provide an honest review.