I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another…
Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings—no matter how lovely they are to look at—is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match—but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction?
Don’t miss Ready Set Rogue, the first in Manda Collins’ new series set in Regency England!
What do I love more than a steamy historical romance? One with an actual plot! Ready Set Rogue encapsulates both. You’ll get your romance fix and a real story with this one. Though the plot involves the typical unlikely romance bucking expectations and obstacles, it also has a mystery you’ll be trying to solve along with the characters.
I loved the spunky, plucky heroine, Ivy. She is what was called (usually with derision) a bluestocking, meaning she’s a female with a brain. Choosing to use her “smarts” for more than finding a rich hubby and running his household, Ivy becomes unwittingly at first embroiled in a mystery to find the murderer of a woman she’s never met. She and the other women use their talents to search for the murderer while all the time wondering if they will be next.
Of course, Quill–fantastic name BTW–is the usual handsome aristocrat with the heart of gold we all expect, but he is also dealing with the murder of a woman about whom he cared deeply. He never intends to fall in love with the astute Ivy, but he can’t help himself. While that’s a cliche we all expect in a historical romance, you’ll still love him. He provides just the right mix to make the novel caliente without being too much.
I found the title unfortunate because I feel it makes the novel sound like a cheesy romance. Like the intelligent women who drive this novel, the plot goes beyond what is normally associated with romance. If I’d judged this book by its title, I probably wouldn’t have chosen it, and I definitely would have missed out on great mystery. What’s that old adage about judging a book by it’s cover? Don’t underestimate this one. Romance lovers need more authors like Collins to elevate the genre, so you don’t have to be embarrassed to be caught reading one. I just wish the title had matched the plot.
Be sure you look out for all the mythological references, too!