This is my first book by Maggie Robinson, but the idea of a romance set in the Cotswolds really appealed to me. “Schooling the Viscount” is the first book in the Cotswold Confidential series and, despite the silly name, Robinson delivers a satisfying romance.
The tiny village of Puddling-on-the-Wold, which is in the Cotswolds, is a Regency/Victorian rehab of sorts. When family members go off the rails or need some sort of intervention, they get sent to the village where everyone in the village conspires to help cure them of whatever ailment they possess. If he’s a drunk, there is no liquor to be found in town. If they need to lose a few pounds, only healthy food is available. (Can someone please send me on a diet in the Cotswolds?) Our viscount, Henry, got caught by his father with a couple of prostitutes so… every young woman must stay hidden from his view during his visit. Of course, Henry wanders where he shouldn’t and comes across the young schoolteacher, Rachel.
As innocent and innocuous as all this sounds, it actually has some great spice and tension. The best thing about the book is that Robinson allows her characters depth and true humanity. Rachel isn’t a cookie-cutter schoolteacher; she is a passionate woman who fantasizes about being swept away in naughty ways. Henry is dealing with some PTSD from his wartime experiences. Yes, there are some hijinks and silliness here and there: for some reason, the hero keeps bumping his head or falling down. Even so, I felt that the build of the romance and the relationship was strong and satisfying. Also, the secondary characters are interesting and well-developed. They add to the story rather that just being space fillers. I loved Rachel’s dad!
If you like your romance with some humor, this is a good choice. The characters are well-developed and interesting. I visited the Cotswolds this past year, and this book was such a fun return to a beautiful and unique setting for a romance. I hope publishers and authors keep producing books that take place somewhere other than the typical 5 or so settings. I will definitely be looking forward to Cotswold Confidential Book #2! 4 stars