Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Lady Anne's Lover by Maggie Robinson

Lady Imaculata Anne Egremont has appeared in the scandalous pages of the London List often enough. The reading public is so bored with her nonsense, she couldn't make news now unless she took a vow of chastity. But behind her naughty hijinks is a terrible fear. It's time the List helped her. With a quick scan through its job postings and a few whacks at her ridiculous name, she's off to keep house for a bachelor veteran as plain Anne Mont.

Major Gareth Ripton-Jones is dangerously young and handsome on the face of it, but after losing his love and his arm in short order, he is also too deep in his cups to notice that his suspiciously young housekeeper is suspiciously terrible at keeping house. Until, that is, her sharp tongue and her burnt coffee penetrate even his misery—and the charm underneath surprises them both. Trust the worst cook in Wales to propose a most unexpected solution to his troubles...

Lady Imaculata Egremont is a valuable commodity to The London List.  Her scandals are notorious, yet they make for great reading (and great profit).  When Imaculata is in danger, she turns to Evangeline Ramsey, who turns Imaculata into Anne Mont.

Anne arrives in Wales with very little property and even less knowledge about how to be a housekeeper.  Major Ripton-Jones, however, is struggling also.  He's literally drowning in filth and alcohol.  Anne convinces him of her real identity, and they agree to help each other and help themselves in the process. 

I was a bit surprised by how quickly Anne proposes the scheme for she and Gareth to marry so Anne would inherit and Gareth could restore his home and lands, and how readily Gareth agreed.  He didn't seem like a desperate man, just a broken one.  The murder mystery subplot with all speculation pointing to Gareth as the culprit was an interesting one and offset the romance between Anne and Gareth nicely.  

Lady Anne's Lover is a fine ending to The London List series, and I will admit I'm going to miss what problems Evie manages to solve next.  
(A very special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Lady Anne's Lover.)

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