Rules of Gentility
by Janet Mullany
"It is a fact universally acknowledged that a single woman of fortune and passable good looks amuses herself in London with fashion, philanthropic works, and flirtation, until a suitable gentleman makes an offer. I consider the pursuit of bonnets and a husband fairly alike––I do not want to acquire an item that will wear out, or bore me after a brief acquaintance, and we must suit each other very well." So begins this most unusual and engaging novel about Miss Wellesley–Clegg, a young woman living in Regency London who struggles to find the perfect man––and the perfect bonnet.
I started this book a bit uncertain as to what I could expect. The cover indicates it is Jane Austen meets Bridget Jones, which made me pause a bit. I am not a fan of Ms. Jones or her diaries.
I was pleasantly surprised and entertained from the beginning of this novel. It's told in alternating first person between the hero, Inigo and the heroine, Philomena and, at first I was concerned this would be a bother as I've never been a fan of that at well.
Ms. Mullany has converted me. In addition to her lively prose, witty plot and well-drawn characters, she has an interesting story and wonderful conflict. The dialogue is well-written and believable, and she cleverly weaves ALL the "typical" regency type plot devices into her story.
As it progressed, I was delighted to find that what begins as a fluffy regency romance deepens to something more. Miss Wellsley-Clegg learns much about life, and Inigo learns that sometimes it's important to pursue what you love instead of taking life one day at a time.
If you're a fan of regency, you'll LOVE this book. And, even if you've never really read in the genre, I can still heartily recommend it.
If this is an example of how well Ms. Mullany writes, I can't wait to grab the other book from her backlist. Dedication... here I come.
Review by Poppy
NOTE: LEAVE A COMMMENT ON THIS REVIEW, AND EARN AN EXTRA ENTRY TO WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THIS BOOK, OR JANET MULLAY'S FIRST BOOK, "DEDICATION". See website for more contest details. Contest ends 9/29/07.