Earlier this year, I discovered Valerie Bowman through her last release “Never Love a Pirate”. I was thrilled to find such a breezy, funny author who has a different tone from most Regency authors today. Not surprisingly, I was pretty excited to read this new entry in the Playful Brides series.
Meg has friends in high places, but she doesn’t have much to recommend her: her parents, though part of society, have mountains of debt; she is entering her third season as a wallflower; and, she doesn’t even have nice dresses. When her best friend and a duchess friend decide to sponsor her and give her a makeover to make this “her season”, they don’t know that she only has one guy in mind. Hart never paid much attention to his sister’s mousy best friend until she showed up to a recent ball looking like a princess.
While I really enjoyed Meg’s character and the makeover bits with the duchess, I never felt like Hart’s depth of feelings for her was enough. He is constantly thinking about how attractive she is and how he is physically attracted to her, but the emotional/personality side? Not so much. Bowman’s humor is back here in full force, especially with a hilarious silver closet incident. The conflict is a bit meh with a misunderstanding that could simply be talked out dominating the latter part of the book. That being said, I read it in one evening, which speaks to pacing and plot development. I also enjoyed the little Romeo and Juliet nods.
The Bottom Line-
If you are a fan of fun and easy Regency romance, you must read Valerie Bowman. This book is a little breath of fresh air, and I will continue to look forward to each release, despite my small niggles with this book. 4 stars