“What else am I to do but to seek a rich husband?”
Sophie Irwin ~ A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting
The season is about to begin—and there’s not a minute to lose.
Kitty Talbot needs a fortune. Or rather, she needs a husband who has a fortune. This is 1818 after all, and only men have the privilege of seeking their own riches.
With only twelve weeks until the bailiffs call, launching herself into London society is the only avenue open to her, and Kitty must use every ounce of cunning and ingenuity she possesses to climb the ranks.
The only one to see through her plans is the worldly Lord Radcliffe and he is determined to thwart her at any cost, especially when it comes to his own brother falling for her charms.
Can Kitty secure a fortune and save her sisters from poverty? There is not a day to lose and no one—not even a lord—will stand in her way…
Before I start, I need to say that I have never watched Bridgerton. I probably never will. However, I will read Pride and Prejudice (and watch the BBC adaptation) many, many more times!
With that in mind, I am always keen to read books set in the Georgian period. Despite everything, it feels like a rather lovely time to be alive: simple and slow-paced, before widespread rail travel brought in a darker, dirtier period of history.
A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting is very similar to an Austen story, with a family of five sisters knowing that at least one of them will have to marry well if they wish to keep their house and lifestyle. However, unlike many of Austen’s heroines who are gently determined, Kitty Talbot is feisty.
Although not particularly likeable at times, Kitty is a great character, matched only by Lord Radcliffe who is aloof and stubborn, with no time for silly young ladies (yes, he is quite like Mr Darcy). Kitty and Radcliffe however, possess a stronger chemistry and sense of humour, which gives the book a slightly more modern feel. Their banter is delightful and although the story is predictable, it is enjoyable. It isn’t hilarious, but there are several amusing anecdotes that will raise a smile or a titter from readers. Sprinkled with subtle nods to Pride and Prejudice throughout, there are also some fantastic side characters amongst the ‘ton’ that make for a lively few chapters.
The beginning is perhaps a little slow for a contemporary story, which may deter those who are not fans of Austen, and the ending does border on ridiculous. The themes of gambling, marriage and society however are well-researched and provide a darker edge to what is quite a safe story. The gossipy nature of the society ladies is well done and the ball scenes are a fascinating insight into the precarious place one held on the ladder for the upper echelons.
A fun frolic that is best served in the garden with champagne and scones.
Thanks to Harper Fiction and Insta Book Tours for my copy of the book. Opinions my own.