Lady-lessons

Written by Sarah Starr
Review by Sarah L. Nesbeitt

A Regency romance, this novel details the unusual courtship between Julian, Earl of Ashley, and his grandmother’s god-daughter Virginia Traynor, called Ginger. She and her brother, Thomas, are invited to pay their godmother a visit, but little does she know that the Dowager Countess of Ashley has matchmaking in mind. To her godmother’s surprise, Ginger’s a young girl whose tomboyish behavior and unpolished manners make her unfit for society. The Earl finds Ginger attractive and refreshing, but he’s determined at first to marry a more suitable bride – even though it may not be for love.

Despite the title, the “lady lessons” which Ginger undertakes for the Earl’s benefit don’t begin until the novel’s nearly finished. There are some other flaws, notably the lack of development for secondary characters such as Thomas (described more like an early adolescent than a man of twenty). Also, Ginger herself seems at times too youthful to be interested in romance and marriage. Still, the characters’ actions and the language used are perfectly appropriate to the period, and if you can put aside these inconsistencies, this novel would be a charming addition to any reader’s Regency collection.