When she was 16 and impressionable, Lady Charlotte Hayward made a very serious mistake and wound up giving birth to an illegitimate child. Her pregnancy was hushed up, with even her father remaining ignorant, and her child given away, much to her sadness and regret, but Charlotte knows she will now never marry and becomes an expert at Not Getting Married. Meanwhile, Darius Carsington has never had any desire to get married, but has devoted his life to the pursuit of science and the pursuit of loose women for whom he will never care. His father, a despairing earl with one last son left to marry off, gives Darius the estate next to the Haywards’ and instructs him to make it turn a profit within one year, at which point he will be permitted to remain single. When these two meet, they discover that they aren’t going to remain single for very long and perhaps most importantly that things lost can sometimes be found.
First of all, this book is too funny, or at least I thought so. Darius’s unbending attitude in the beginning of the book is absolutely laughable as he’s made into almost a caricature of a man who avoids commitment and well-born young ladies. Take this quote:
And in the end, being a servant of Logic, he knew he was doomed. He must go to her and endure the unendurable, a fate worse than torture, maiming, plague, pestilence, famine, or death.
He must APOLOGIZE. (p. 155)
Luckily, he learns how to behave fairly quickly. I found myself laughing frequently. This book isn’t particularly well-written, but it has a wry humor to it that makes it a pleasure anyway. I have to say that the plot amused me as well. Both characters determinedly push away their attraction to one another and to everyone else, but as with all romance novels, it’s easy to tell where it’s leading. I liked in particular how Charlotte is portrayed as smart and stubborn. She lacked brothers as a child and was thus taught everything her father knew, so she is convinced she can go her own way through life without any problems. She probably could. I also really liked that this attracted Darius so much. It’s nice when men go for the smart women, isn’t it?
I’d probably recommend this to another romance reader. I doubt it’s going to compel anyone to read the genre, but I liked it.
Buy Not Quite A Lady on Amazon.