Mrs McVinnie’s London Season

Written by Carla Kelly
Review by Kate Braithwaite

It is spring in Scotland in 1810, and war widow Jeannie McVinnnie is struggling to maintain her spirits since the death of her husband. When a letter to another Jeannie (her husband’s aunt) arrives inviting her to go to London and take on a chaperone role, Jeannie decides to take her fate into her own hands and go in the aunt’s place.

Once arrived in London, Jeannie is quickly embroiled in the family of Captain Summers. His nephew Edward is keen to explore the sights of London, dragging Jeannie into a series of scrapes that bring her to the attention of Beau Brummel. And although Jeannie’s presence is less eagerly welcomed by the Captain’s niece, Larinda, her plain-speaking, honest charm and humor gradually begin to work on all members of the household.

From slightly preposterous beginnings, the novel rattles along nicely. Although lacking the finesse and wit of Georgette Heyer, it is an enjoyable Regency romance bringing to life the dandified world of Almacks and Beau Brummel. Jeannie and the Captain’s road to romance is fairly predictable, but a dark secret about the death of Jeannie’s first husband adds a twist of drama towards the conclusion of the story.