A Lady’s Guide to Scandal

Penguin Bks. (A Lady’s Guide, Bk. 2). Jul. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780593492000. pap. $17. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Compelled to marry to fulfill her family’s expectations, Eliza Balfour has endured years of tightly regulated living, all the while yearning for the man she really loves, her husband’s heir. She is now a rich widow, and the newly minted Earl of Somerset is free to court her, if that is what he chooses. So begins what could have been an ordinary late Regency romance, but Irwin’s second “Lady’s Guide” novel (following A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting) adds some simmering tension to the path to happily ever after—turns out that Eliza gets to decide what happily means, and her desires clash with almost everyone else’s plans. Except, that is, the charming poet Lord Melville. Through a plot that unfolds like the brisk shaking of a tablecloth after a particularly crumbly tea, with characters who plot, plan, and develop, and with some deft touches of asperity and banter, Irwin joins ranks with writers such as Evie Dunmore.
VERDICT Once the story gets going, it is easy to cheer for Eliza as she takes control of her life.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing