Published: December 3, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 448 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 3.0/5.0
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.
But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.
Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.
Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.
DUMB VICTORIAN GIRLS. GUHHHHHH.
I could almost leave the review at that, but you should really understand how dumb, but also the redeeming aspects.
Victoria Aston is perfectly content with her life and the biggest thing she has to worry about is that her dearest (and handsome) childhood friend has returned from the continent. They had a falling out before he left and she harbors hope that she might glimpse him riding on his estate. All is well, until Vicky’s eldest sister flees her abusive husband and Vicky must marry or the estate could fall into his grasping, horrible hands.
Lady Aston enters society, parading about with eligible bachelors until, one by one, they fall away leaving only the dashing Mr. Carmichael or her childhood friend Tom Sherborne. It’s clear from the beginning that she’s going to end up with Tom and Carmichael is just a cad and a half getting in the way. Carmichael is wealthy and her father likes him, but it’s clear from the moment he appears that he’s a HUGE TURD. I mean, you could practically smell the BS wafting from his platitudes and flattery. Sherborne is a genuinely good guy, who in stereotypical guy fashion just can’t explain himself flat out. His family has financial issues caused by his now deceased abusive father.
The plot is… limited. Vicky is courting and going on walks with handsome gents and almost getting kidnapped or murdered. Yeah, remember her sister’s scumbag husband? He’s out to get Vicky and the rest of her family too because he MUST get his wife-beating mitts on the Aston estate in villainous fashion. It’s mostly swooning and pining after Tom with a touch of danger interspersed.
I was really looking forward to reading this but ultimately it fell flat for me. It wasn’t awful, but it was thoroughly in the mediocre, junk food read category. It did satisfy my craving for something thoroughly Austentacious and I think I’m good for awhile now.