A Spinster's Guide to Danger and Dukes
A Spinster’s Guide to Danger and Dukes is a quick-paced romp with a lot of love-hate banter. It’s got some logic problems that keep it from becoming an A-grader, but it’s still a lot of fun.
Miss Poppy Delamare is on the lam from a terrible engagement arranged by her stepfather. Under the assumed identity of Flora Deaver, she has been working for Lady Katherine Bascomb (A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem) and Lady Caroline Hardcastle (An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire) assisting them both for the past two years. But now she must flee London for Buckinghamshire in order to help her sister; Violet Delamare has been accused of murdering her husband (the man that Poppy was to be forced to marry), a crime Poppy knows Violet didn’t commit. Her getaway is going smoothly until someone filches her bag and funds; as she’s chasing the thief down, she bumps face-first into the chest of her long time enemy, Joshua Fielding.
Joshua Fielding, the Duke of Langham, has long found Poppy to be impossible, and when he accidentally abets the man running off with her bag he just adds to his problems. Joshua needs a favor from Poppy – he needs someone to pretend to be his fiancée at a house party about to be held to celebrate the birthday of his grandmother the better to avoid her attempt at matchmaking. Poppy agrees because of the protection being engaged to a duke will offer Violet. He agrees that he’ll do anything he can to save Violet if Poppy will pretend to be his betrothed.
As Poppy tries to hide her true aims from the rest of the Fieldings and exonerate her sister, Joshua lies to his family about his intentions towards Poppy. His brother, Adrian, soon becomes a concern – as is the possibility that Poppy is being stalked by the same person who killed her brother in law.
This is a fun one, but you’ll need to suspend your disbelief quite a bit. Poppy gives up being Flora twenty-one pages into the book – which makes sense, as she wants to rescue her sister. But little about her confession that she’s been lying about her identity shakes Joshua for long (he simply raises an eyebrow and dives into the situation) when it comes to romancing her, which makes the secret identity stuff kind of pointless. Joshua and Poppy’s conflict will be hard to understand for readers who haven’t read the previous books in the series. For those who have though, watching Poppy and Joshua finally get together is a great treat. They realize their misconceptions about one another and build toward a real connection. I will add, though, that Joshua is a bit of a stuffy ass when the book begins and it takes him a while to warm up. Poppy is tough and resilient, which is always a bonus.
The supporting characters are a lot of fun. The dowager countess Langham in particular is great, crusty fun, and it’s always fun to journey into the English countryside. On the other hand, the mystery surrounding Violet only holds mild tension, but at least it is a consistent, important driving plot point. Violet and Poppy’s love for one another is important, and the killer is well-secluded.
If you’re willing to overlook some logic loopholes – like no one managing to search for Poppy, even in the vast environs of London, and Joshua’s non-reaction to her fessing up – then you’ll have some generally carefree fun with this one.
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
|Review Date:||March 27, 2023|
|Book Type:||Historical Romance|
|Review Tags:||Ladies Most Scandalous series|
Thanks for the review! I like this series and enjoyed this one too.
Glad you liked it!