Book Review: Lady August
Reviewed by Madeline Barbush
Two lovers are determined to avoid the trappings of high society in this tantalizing Regency romance.
When I think of British literature during the Regency period, I think of wit, of splendid fashion, of an enticing but exclusive social scene. But, most importantly, I think of a distinctly feminine point of view, a focus on women’s desires and conflicts about things that matter to them. Novels of this period provide a space for women to relish in guilty pleasures like gossip, scandal, and romance—to live vicariously through female characters who (usually) marry for love and not financials.
Although we’ve come a long way since then, thankfully, these Regency romances still strike a chord with us. There is something sexy in all of the discretion and subtleties, all the things left unsaid. Becky Michaels, the author of Lady August, knows how to appeal to her readers’ desire for a coy love story, and then she combines all of the best parts of those classics—the cat-and-mouse love, the dark pasts, the shocking betrayals—with just the right amount of steamy encounters.
Growing up an orphan, August Summers learned early on to accept what is given to her in life. She is content working as a governess for a respectable family in the country. That is, until Samuel Brooks, a solicitor for the wealthy Earl of Bolton, seeks her out to deliver astonishing news.
Not only does he work for her father whom she’s never met, but she is to inherit twelve thousand pounds upon his death. Once she decides to entertain the idea of accepting such a sum and meeting her father, she is thrown into the center of high London society, far out of her domain. August soon grabs the attention of most every young bachelor she meets, but she also realizes it’s Brooks’s love she may just desire most.
Without sacrificing the authentic charm of that era, Michaels succeeds in giving her readers a modern rendition of our favorite love story. She leaves the formal responses of the Regency novels for another day and instead gives us meaningful clues and behavior which reveal the desires of her characters.
Don’t fret: as it goes in any good romance, she throws August and Brooks into the titillating misunderstandings and blunders of first love, taking us on a ride of many ups and downs. Michaels knows why we’ve come, and she doesn’t disappoint.
In Lady August Becky Michaels tells a story that feels both familiar and fresh. August is a worthy heroine, and she feels “different” from the rest of high society without it feeling pat and contrived. It’s a smart historical romance that features women who choose to live on their own terms and who want only a man willing to love and admired that completely.
Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance
Print Length: 310 pages
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