on May 16, 2016 :
This third book in the series has Priscilla Tate assuming the lead. I did not care much for her in the first book, only slightly more in the next, but perhaps her growth in those earlier novels helped me to really enjoy this novel and her transformation from fortune hunter to true heroine.
Priscilla’s various skills to make her attractive on the marriage market surprised me with their variety and even depth; it isn’t merely dressing in a fashionable manner or knowing the rules of society. Her loyalty to her friends and self-sacrificing attitude in regards to her family makes her much more sympathetic than she had been in the previous novels, and her often demonstrated strength through almost militaristic speeches and the similarities between battles and the social whirl of the Season give her the backbone I couldn’t see earlier.
Not unlike many who have watched countless period adaptations, I tend to romanticize the era, but in this book we see the enormous pressures brought to bear by family members who hang all of their hopes for the future on their daughter's marriage. It is by no means a relaxing or romantic time, the Season—too much is at stake.
Priscilla finds herself caught between using all of the skills her aunt taught her to snare a rich husband and wanting to be who she truly is and to marry the man who loves her for herself. That gives the romance a hefty dose of tension, making it the best so far in the series. There are many really sweet, sigh-worthy moments that build to a climax and impossible situation: what Priscilla thought she wanted is in direct opposition to her newfound desires.
There are several enjoyable events in this novel that I associate with the period—a masquerade ball with an announcement at midnight and a gothic graveyard tour in the evening are just two. And the humor in this book makes it a more lighthearted read; I loved Nathan’s dry sense of humor and the often awkward situations his position of personal secretary to his cousin puts him in, mostly because he is acutely aware of the flaws in the man he serves.
I have enjoyed each the Lady Emily Capers, but this third installment is the best so far! I highly recommend this novel to those who enjoy a clean Regency romance with touches of mystery and several unexpected twists.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for this honest review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
(reviewed 57 days after purchase)
on April 27, 2016 :
I’m having such a fun time reading through the Lady Emily Capers series by Regina Scott. Ballrooms and Blackmail is the third book in the series and an excellent addition! I know that when I pick up one of these books I am going to enjoy witty characters, a hint of danger, and an entertaining mystery all wrapped up in a clean regency romance. It is a great combination.
Ballrooms and Blackmail is definitely Priscilla’s time to shine. I loved getting to know more about her. She was a character that I really did not like in the first book. What an eye opener to see how she has changed since book one, yet also learn more about who the woman behind the flirtatious ways really is. I liked catching up with Daphne and Ariadne, as well as getting a peek at how the romance is faring between Emily and Jamie. Nathan Kent and the Duke of Rottenford both add a lot to the story, as well. The mystery was a fun one to follow throughout the novel and I enjoyed the big reveal towards the end. I’m looking forward to reading book four in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 46 days after purchase)
on March 21, 2016 :
Ballrooms and Blackmail by Regina Scott
Lady Emily Capers Series Book Three
Priscilla Tate had everything going for her as far as beautiful hair, eyes, and a perfect body. Her aunt Sylvia had taught her well how to use all of the above to her advantage...and she did. Too bad Aunt Sylvia went crazy and now Priscilla needs to marry for money to help her parents...rather than love for herself. What else can she do but aim her sights on a duke?
Nathan Kent was elected by relatives to watch over his distant cousin Percy. Now that the man had become a duke, he needed guidance. A lot of guidance. Nathan needed to find the perfect woman for his cousin to marry. One who could keep the truth about the duke to herself and help him as well. Perhaps the fortune hunter would be a good duchess but Nathan didn't want her marrying the duke.
This is a great series. Romance, humor, mystery, and secrets. Priscilla, Emily, Daphne, and Ariadne have come together once again to put their skills together to find the culprit who is blackmailing Priscilla. The ongoing story of Emily and Jamie Cropper continues as well.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)