Say You’ll Be My Lady
Earl’s daughter Serena Wynter relishes her time spent with the Wednesday Afternoon Social Club, where ladies who lunch engage in charitable works and the occasional wearing of trousers. Serena put aside thoughts of romance after her would-be fiancé died in the Napoleonic Wars, but she grows intrigued by the thought of a fling with attractive man-about-town Charles Townshend. But Charles, a former boxer turned respectable MP, is too principled to intrigue with well-born ladies when his illegitimate birth means he can’t marry them.
Charles, however, finds his resistance weakening as Serena’s adoption of an orphaned boy leads to their spending more time together. While there are hints of trouble when Charles’s half-brother appears in London and a prick of emotion when Serena receives a long-lost letter from her former love, most of the book’s action is as stately and choreographed as a country dance. Characters decide what they want and then pursue it without too much fuss. Funny secondary characters frequently steal the scene from the more restrained leads, and despite locales of 1821 London, the book feels much like a modern, upper-class American family drama in Regency dress. Still, it’s a pleasurable read with an enjoyable cast and a sweet heart.