Collins’s light-hearted, pleasant historical romance/mystery was read in one sitting…not because it inspired “can’t put this down”, though a fun read. Rather because my home-city experienced a devastating ice storm, which I drove through on Wednesday, and then went into the dark and cold for two days while power was out. The Kindle held out long enough for me to read Collins’s Spinster’s Guide in one sitting on Thursday and then sit on my review till the power came back. I have been thinking about how our reading is as much about the when and how we read a book as much as the book itself and how blogs, waning as they are, recount and reflect those circumstances. So, there you have how I read Spinster’s Guide in the dark and cold.
Onwards to Collins’s third Lady’s Guide romance-mystery and its lovable characters, especially hero Joshua Fielding, Duke of Langham and heroine Poppy Delamere. To start, the publisher’s blurb to set us up with premise and details:
England, 1867: Miss Poppy Delamare is living a lie. To escape an odious betrothal, she fled to London where she’s been hiding as the unassuming secretary Flora Deaver. However, when her beloved sister is accused of murder, Poppy cannot leave her to the wolves. Only a most unexpected—and unwelcome—collision interrupts her journey home…
Despite a rather dismal first meeting, Joshua Fielding, the Duke of Langham, has no intention of abandoning a lady in need. But he’s not above asking a favor. A fake betrothal will give Poppy and her sister the power of the dukedom and protect Langham from the society misses intent on becoming his duchess.
Yet the longer the ruse goes on, the more Poppy and Langham realize how false their first impressions were—and the less pretend their engagement feels. But before Langham can propose in truth, their search reveals a tangled web of lies and betrayals. With time running out, can Poppy and Langham find the real culprit—before Poppy becomes the next victim? (more…)