A Viscount’s Proposal: The Regency Spies of London

Written by Melanie Dickerson
Review by Ray Thompson

This second in series tracks the developing relationship between the impulsive Leorah Langdon and the staid Edward, Viscount Withinghall, an important member of the government’s reformist wing. Initially offended by one another, when fate in the form of a carriage accident throws them (literally) together, they grow gradually to appreciate each other’s admirable qualities, both those that differ, like temperament, and those shared, like strong support for women’s education. The accident, however, turns out to be sabotage, and this sets off an investigation to discover who is behind this and subsequent attempts on the viscount’s life. Though no spies are in evidence, there is a mystery.

There are noticeable parallels, both verbal and structural, to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, though the wit and irony have been replaced by a decidedly more earnest and didactic tone. As a result, the condemnation of society’s hypocritical standards, particularly in the treatment of women, does create a tension with the romance that is at times uncomfortable. This is inspirational fiction, and will appeal most strongly to devotees of that genre.