Book Review: A LADY’S GUIDE TO FORTUNE-HUNTING by Sophie Irwin

Title in white on turquoise with yellow silhouette of a woman in a hat
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: yes - first book

Blurb:

Book cover for A LADY'S GUIDE TO FORTUNE-HUNTING: title in blue on yellow sillouhette of a woman with a feathered hat

The season is about to begin—and there’s not a minute to lose.

Kitty Talbot needs a fortune. Or rather, she needs a husband who has a fortune. This is 1818 after all, and only men have the privilege of seeking their own riches.

With only twelve weeks until the bailiffs call, launching herself into London society is the only avenue open to her, and Kitty must use every ounce of cunning and ingenuity she possesses to climb the ranks.

The only one to see through her plans is the worldly Lord Radcliffe and he is determined to thwart her at any cost, especially when it comes to his own brother falling for her charms.

Can Kitty secure a fortune and save her sisters from poverty? There is not a day to lose and no one—not even a lord—will stand in her way…

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

I do not typically pick up romances from the shelves – it just really isn’t my thing as an aroacespec person. However, I could feel myself wavering on the verge of a burnout, and the best way I’ve found to nip that in the bid is to find something in a completely different genre to what I’d usually read that ends up being a great read (that last bit is usually the tricky bit!)

I’d heard so much about this book, and a funny, very (very) low-heat, slow-burn regency romance seemed like it had a decent chance of being fun. And it was. (And I really hope it’s done the burnout trick too!)

Admittedly, I don’t have the largest experience of romance novels, but the romance did not seem like the driving force behind the book. The promise that they would fall in love by the end was there from about 25% in (it takes a while to meet him, and then longer for anything to even start between them) so you knew it would end up well. But for most of the book, it felt like a historical, an Austen-esque semi-satire on the upper class of Regency England.

That, I think, is why I enjoyed it so much. I didn’t have to invest in the romance in order to enjoy the story – I could invest in the fun (and hypocrisy) of Kitty taking on the ton militantly. The romance is very much a slow-burn, as Kitty keeps imposing herself on Radcliffe for help (having trapped him at maybe the 30% mark into not exposing her.)

A LADY’S GUIDE TO FORTUNE-HUNTING was hysterically funny at times. Kitty has such a sharp wit that I was cackling to myself (and stayed up rather too late reading.) And her and Radcliffe do spark off each other so well with their antagonism to reluctant allies to friends and so on. That repartee makes for very good scenes.

There’s also an awful lot more going on around just them (hence it doesn’t feel like their romance is in anyway driving the plot.) It’s rather impressive how much is packed into a 330 page book, a whole bunch of different subplots that weave together into the finale.

This is apparently the first book in a series, so I’ll be keeping an eye for the next one (and I think we might have a good hint about what the plot will be from this book!)

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