High jinks, misunderstandings and conflicted passions - Regency rocks in the latest racy read from Janet Mullany 1822, England: Lady Caroline Elmhurst is twice-widowed, down on her luck and pursued by creditors.
But she's optimistic about finding a new husband - or if necessary, a rich lover - and when she meets handsome, mysterious Nicholas Congrevance at a house-party in the country, she sets out to entice him.
For his part, Nicholas simply sees Lady Caroline Elmhurst as just the sort of woman he's used to exploiting - rich, available, and gullible.
Neither realizes the other is penniless and neither has any intention of falling in love...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
- Publication Date: 23/07/2009
- Category: Adult & contemporary romance
- ISBN: 9780755347797
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by ames
Lady Caroline Elmhurt and Mr. Nicholas Congrevance are not perfect characters. They lie, they're selfish and they're totally lovable in all their rascally ways. They're very human...not paragons of virtue that we see in some other historical romances. Even their servants lie for them, telling the other's that they're rich. It's all kind of funny, both thinking the other is rich and out to get something from the other. Nicholas wants to take Caro's money, and Caro either wants Nick for marriage or to be his mistress. Despite the fact that they're both lying through their teeth about their wealth, they do reveal their true characters to the other in various ways. Nick, who has been creating false identities on the Continent for almost 10 years has reverted to his original name and sticks close to his old identity. Caro is trying to come across as a virtuous lady to Nick, but all the other guests know her for the shameless hussy she is. And why can't a woman seek out her own pleasures? Caro isn't a hurtful person, she isn't cruel, so what's so wrong trying to take a little bit of pleasure where she can, eh?<br/><br/>But Nick's conscience rears its ugly head after 10 years and he realizes he loves her, and can't steal from her. Unfortunately, he can't make an honest woman out of her either because he has nothing. So what's a poor lovesick fool to do?<br/><br/>A Most Lamentable Comedy is truly funny. Even the second time around. I love Janet's humour. It's very wry, which is how I like it.
Review by MarFisk
I signed up for and won A Most Lamentable Comedy on Lucienne Diver’s blog despite studiously not entering book contests to preserve my sanity…and the foundation of my house which is groaning under the weight of my to-be-read pile. That said, I couldn’t pass this book up. A Regency novel, which is a favorite era of mine, with scoundrels for protagonists? I was sold on the description alone.Having read the novel, the scoundrels aren’t quite as bad as I’d expected at the start, but clearly do not meet the traditional standards for the heroine and hero, especially not of a romance. Still, their machinations were a delight to follow, as well as how and when their hearts get ahead of their minds. The reasons for their fall from society are solid, and neither deliberately tries to hurt any of their marks. Both find themselves in the untenable situation of having too little cash to support themselves in the manner of which they’ve been accustomed, and no way to set up a respectable situation that can accomplish such a manner. Caro is out looking for her third husband after the first two died, a fact that made her something of a pariah even before the threat of debtor prison. Nick has a more complicated past, and has been supporting himself by enticing rich women to give him gifts.Neither is aware of the other’s circumstances, but they are attracted from the start. Love is something that is far from Nick’s thoughts and hadn’t really entered into Caro’s plans, but complicates an already impossible tangle. Throw in a mangled Shakespearian comedy, alternatively well-meaning and vindictive society women surrounding one of Caro’s former lovers, and servants who command more than a salary and less than respect, and you have a wonderful, crazy, self-aware Regency novel all about what happens behind the scenes when the debutantes are no longer in white and gentlemen can’t be taken for what they appear to be.I would definitely recommend this novel to any who enjoy that period, and hope that they manage a US release soon.