Lucy has never really fit in with her family’s plans for her. She is more comfortable wearing trousers in her greenhouse than wearing dresses and going to balls. She doesn’t want the suitors who she feels would only marry her for her dowry and her standing. But no one understands –and she fears no one ever will– until one day a surprise package arrives from her late aunt.
Lucy barely remembers her Aunt E, but suddenly she learns that her aunt has left her the cottage where she lived and the diaries she kept for decades. Now Lucy has an alternative to the future she has been dreading. Except that her father has tried to sell her new home to some marquess for a paltry sum. Surely, he thought, she would have no use for the rundown property. He thought wrong. Lucy embarks on a secret mission to see the old place for herself, only she doesn’t make the journey alone: Lord Thomas isn’t quite willing to give up his quest to buy her property.
Thomas has his own reasons for wanting to buy the cottage, but that isn’t what draws him to Lucy. He is taken with her fire and independence. All those things she fears will make no man want her are exactly what make her so irresistible to him.
It’s not exactly an enemies to lovers story, but these two start up with more than a little dissension between them. But there is so much passion under all of their crackling energy. Both of these characters hang on to their hard shells a little too long, but they both feel that they have to do it to protect themselves from more heartache.
In the meantime, Lucy is getting to know her Aunt E, thanks to those diaries. Not only that, but she can see herself in her aunt’s reflections. She learns from her aunt’s mistakes. It’s a great tool and by the end, I felt like Aunt E was as vibrant a character as those who were living.
I enjoyed the romance, but be warned, it’s a slow burn. That doesn’t mean that it’s boring, though, by any stretch. The growing relationship between Lucy and Thomas is central to the story, but even more focus is placed on Lucy’s journey of self discovery. I enjoyed watching her learn her own self-worth, but also recognizing the ways in which she needed to grow. I thought she and Thomas were a good match and I liked them together, but the diaries and the lessons from Aunt E were just as strong in the story. Thomas’s secrets were a little lackluster, but that didn’t bother me too much.
It’s a quick read. I flew through it in just a few hours. And I left satisfied.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Spinster’s Guide to Scandalous Behavior
by Jennifer McQuiston
Release Date: November 24, 2015