This is a story full of familiar tropes-two sisters-one beautiful and one bookish. Both in love with two men and both of them unsuitable.
This book fit right in with my year of fun reading–light and fluffy and made me ready to read another Kate Noble immediately–which I did!
Beautiful Evangeline and bookish Abagail are finally back in London after a lifetime spent abroad, with a new stepmother, Romilla, in anticipation of their debut season’s. With a good London address, a father who’s been recognized by the crown, money and a venerable general for a stepmother, their debuts are practically assured.
I love books with bookish main characters and Abagail or Gail as she’s called had just the right amount of spunk and tom-boyishness. She has no trouble saying what’s on her mind and doesn’t suffer fools which is not a good combination for an era where women should talk of inconsequential things and flatter the people around them–no matter how muffin headed they sound.
Her slightly older beautiful sister Evangeline is not as bright but she’s sweet and their friendship is solid. Living abroad most of their lives and the death of their mother has made them allies. While Gail might not be excited about “The Season” or the ball being planned by stepmother Romilla to introduce the girls to society Evangeline is over the moon. She can’t wait to meet all the delightful young men, attend dances and parties and fall in love. Sadly she manages to get herself “Compromised” (hence the title) and thus secretly engaged the night of her ball and though it may have seemed romantic in the moment, in the long term Evangeline and her future husband Max have nothing in common.
The main framework of this novel is keeping this engagement secret until just the right moment and this is where all the fun happens. For a marriage not to be seen as shameful a girl must be properly courted. This means Max spends time with his intended and for proprieties sake her sister and his best friend Will often both act as chaperone’s. Sparks fly–and not between Max and Evangeline but between Max and Gail. Whenever they are in the same room they can’t help but bicker and snipe with each other and their interactions are such fun to read.
I don’t want to give away all the surprises but this is a romance novel so you know going in there will be a happy ever after, it’s all about how you get there in the end. This journey was loads of fun and I found myself laughing out loud lots. Kate Noble reminds me of Lisa Kleypas in the best sort of way. For those who worry about the steam value, this is pretty steam free until almost the end with one mild racy scene.
All I can say is I plan on reading Kate Noble’s The Blue Raven series and most likely right away!