The Bluestocking on His Knee
The Bluestocking on His Knee is a very ordinary Regency. That description can either be insulting or an indication of the safe and familiar, depending on how you touchy you feel. For me it was an average read, breaking no conventions of the genre. It was actually so average that my only problem with it was a larger-than-life hero.
Some heroes are so arrogant that you almost want the heroine to slip through their fingers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t ever happen in to heroes. Not in a romance novel, it doesn’t.
Kevin Whattling is facing total bankruptcy. Borrowing from friends, he has one month in which to rectify the situation, which he decides to do by marrying an heiress. Kevin picks Jenny Welch as the best match available. Not only is she rich and eccentric, she is something of a recluse and Kevin figures they can make an acceptable match between them. Jenny is flattered by his straightforward approach, but his habit of being selective with information disturbs her. She allows the courtship to progress, since she realizes she can further her studies by questioning this Corinthian, whether or not she accepts him.
Jenny is conscious of something missing in her life. For years, her studies have been all she wanted, but now she finds herself thinking about men and marriage. When Kevin shows up, she is tempted by the possibilities he represents, while reluctant to hand over the reins of her life and fortune to a relative stranger.
Kevin is so assured of his charm and good looks that he thinks any unwed woman should be thrilled to marry him, even with a courtship of less than a month. Beyond this assumption, he is a much reformed character who has been shocked out of his dissolute life by the untimely death of his younger brother.
The focus of this book is on Kevin and Jenny. They move against the backdrop of Regency London and among a supporting cast of characters that does not distract the reader’s attention from the courting couple. We meet Kevin’s foppish friends, Jenny’s sour companion, and the hiss-worthy base villain.
The Bluestocking on His Knee rarely deviates from the straight and narrow path traveled by numerous other Regency Romances. Only Jenny’s studies of boxing felt new to me. However, there can be comfort in the commonplace, and no shame attached to it. While I found Kevin overly presumptuous and the rest of the book mediocre, it was an acceptable enough read for all that.