I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Seduction of Lady Phoebe by Ella Quinn
Series: The Marriage Game #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by eKensington on 19 September 2013
Quinn adheres to social mores when it suits her and throws them out the window with fantastical situations at other times. To be honest, it took me two attempts to finish this book. The first time I started it, I only got as far as the heroine punching the hero in chapter 1 before I put it down. I was expecting an Austen-esque romance given the language and the sudden display of violence startled me. I came back to it however when I was in the mood for something lighter and I enjoyed it.
Our heroine is not only a pugilist and an excellent whip, she delights in politics, espouses feminist ideals and wants to found an orphan asylum. I can’t think of any modern woman who would excel in so many areas so it is a bit hard to swallow that a Regency woman could. She expects others to have the same views as her and ridicules them if they do not. If the situation was reversed and Phoebe was male, I probably wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow because the genre is littered with so many highly talented and arrogant men. Phoebe nurses her grudge against Marcus even though she happily biffed any number of forward suitors in the past without a second thought. After so long concealing her interactions with Marcus, Phoebe for some reason decides to start telling everyone the sorry tale. I could understand one or two people but literally everyone was taken into her confidence. This struck me as fairly odd along with her eight year loathing of a young chap who was clearly in his cups.
Marcus is definitely the beta to the Phoebe’s alpha. She sets the tone of the courtship and although he tries to protect her, it is clear that she can hold her own in any situation. Marcus’ father banished him to the West Indies for poor behaviour and only recalled him when they discovered his older brother was dying. I really wanted to find out more about his time in the West Indies and how he reconciled with his father. We know that Marcus underwent significant changes during his time there so I expected more detail. Phoebe was the impetus he needed to improve and he put her on such a high pedestal that nothing she could do would cause her to topple off. When she talks about how she intends to teach her daughters to fight and shoot, he suggests adding knife training, so eager is he for a crumb of affection.
Quinn has done quite a bit of research into this era and this is reflected in the language. I didn’t understand all of the terms and had to Google quite a few. A glossary of some of the more obscure ones would have been welcome simply because I had to use the internet to understand some of the vernacular. The novel can be divided into two parts – Marcus trying to win Phoebe which is the lion share of the novel and Phoebe becoming a crude gentleman’s object of desire.
If you want a traditional Regency tale then this is probably not for you as it features a very strong heroine and all manner of fighting and attempted kidnappings interwoven with the dancing, flirting and Regency etiquette. If you are up for something a little less restrained though, I suspect you will be entertained.