In for a Penny

Written by Rose Lerner
Review by Audrey Braver

When Lord Nevinstoke’s father is killed in a duel in 1819, he inherits more than the title of Earl Bedlow; he also inherits impossibly huge debts. The only way to solvency is for Nev to marry the daughter of a Cit, owner of a brewery. Penelope Brown wants to marry another man, but her family has forbidden the match. When Nev comes courting, she knows it is her fortune he really wants, so she draws up a list of conditions – which he accepts. In accordance with her wishes, he gives up his two best friends, his mistress, and his profligate lifestyle. It is a good match: Penny has excellent management skills but feels socially inept, while Nev shines in social situations but cannot add a column of figures. To make matters worse, the area’s farm laborers are on the verge of a bloody revolt to rival the Peterboro Massacre of 1816.

Put Rose Lerner’s graceful writing style together with a plot that is a cut above the average Regency novel and you have a book that is hard to put down. In for a Penny is a delightful mix of historical detail and Regency romp – an excellent debut novel.