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What the devil are those women doing on the wharf?’ Captain Barsley roared, as the dockworker clambered over the side from the rowboat…

The man dropped to the deck, eyes round. ‘It’s true! You’re here!’ he blurted out.

‘Of course, I’m here,’ the Captain snarled.

But the man wasn’t looking at Barsley. He was looking at Alaric.’*

 

When Lord Alaric Wilde, son of the Duke of Lindow, arrives in England, after many years away from home and family, all he wants is a cup of tea and a hot bath. Even a lungful of smokey London air seems appealing. The last thing he expects is to be met by a mob of marauding ‘ladies’, diehard fans of Wilde in Love, the unauthorized and sensationalized hit play about his life. So begins, Eloisa James’ latest Georgian romp, the first in a new series featuring the aptly named Wilde family.

It’s only when Alaric arrives at his family seat in Cheshire to celebrate his brother North’s engagement that he realizes the extent of his fame – or rather infamy. Among the houseguests are a group of young upper-class women out to capture Alaric’s interest – apart from Miss Willa Ffynche, it seems, the only female in England indifferent to the great lord’s charms. While the other guests, irrespective of gender, swoon over Alaric, Willa tries to remain impartial. Soon, however, she discovers that far from the self-interested adventurer she’d imagined, Alaric is a man at odds with his class and time – rough, plain-spoken, witty, intelligent, someone of character whom she can admire.

As usual, James doesn’t disappoint. Alaric and Willa’s exchanges are quick-witted, fast-paced and full of double entendres. Supporting characters, such as Lavinia, Willa’s charming, bright friend, Alaric’s brother, North, his childhood companion, Parth Sterling, and an American sable (skunk) named Sweetpea, provide both amusement and context. The story is littered with facts and detail of the period – about class, gender roles, fashion, industry and geographic pursuits – cleverly interwoven into the characters’ dialogue and interests.

In sum, this is an extremely enjoyable, very readable book and a great introduction to what will, no doubt, be yet another successful series for Ms James.

 

Wilde in Love | Piatkus | 31 October 2017 | Paperback original | £8.99

 

 

 

Credits: Text quote Wilde in Love, 4 – copyright © 2017 by Eloisa James, Inc. Image: Blinded by brilliant buttons, 1777. Many thanks to Clara Diaz at Little, Brown for supplying the cover and providing a review copy. This review appears as part of the Piatkus blog tour, 7 November 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also of interest:  Library of scents; ‘A Georgian Fairy Tale – Joanna Taylor’s Masquerade‘;  ‘Mary Balogh’s The Escape – finding a haven in a heartless world’.

Notice: Please note the images and quoted text in this article are used for promotional purposes only (see above).

This review is © 2017 by The Literary Shed. All opinions are our own. All rights are reserved. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do request permission. Thank you so much.

 

 

 

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