The Lady Most Likely by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Connie Brockway (Piatkus)
If you, like me, love modern day period novels then you absolutely must read The Lady Most Likely.
Return to the days of corsets, horse-drawn carriages and nineteenth century marriageable ladies vying for the attentions of would be suitors. Of course it is preferable that a potential husband be good-looking, wealthy, intelligent and endowed with a title such as Duke, Lord or Earl.
28-year-old bachelor Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly, is obsessed with horses, especially one particular rambunctious steed. And recently he had a rather unfortunate encounter with this prize stallion.
This accident – a coma - brought to the forefront of his mind his own mortality. Hugh needs a son, and in order to acquire said offspring he must marry. But as he possesses no desire to join the ton or actively woo an eligible wife, he turns to his younger sister for help.
She is to compile a list of the very best and unwed young ladies whom he might court and marry. They are to be invited to her home for a week long party, and there Hugh will begin the unsavoury task of finding a Mrs Dunne.
But Hugh is not the only marriageable bachelor at the party, and soon it becomes clear that his ineptitude with woman could find him wifeless, as slowly but surely his closest friends’ bag one lady after the next.
Written by at least one of my favourite authors – Julia Quinn – I knew I was in for a treat when I began reading this book. The writing is thoroughly charming, combining wit and eloquence effortlessly. Almost all of the characters are utterly lovable, and you are guaranteed to laugh at the ridiculous situations that these well-bred ladies and gentlemen find themselves in.
Unlike a Jane Austin or Charles Dickens novel, The Lady Most Likely is an easy and quick read, written in three parts, taking place over a week in the countryside. And most importantly there are several happily ever afters.
I read this book with a smile fixed firmly on my face. And for any mothers reading this review, I assure you that you can happily leave The Lady Most Likely lying around for your teenage daughter to find and secretly read under her duvet at night.
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