HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Book Review: Loretta Chase – Miss Wonderful

Posted by HelenEdith on March 6, 2009

(A Carsington Regency romance)

I have read one of the other books in this series, “Mr Impossible”, and found that one somewhat heavy going, but “Miss Wonderful” was a much easier read. Maybe it was the setting: this book is set in Derbyshire, while “Mr Impossible” is set in Egypt, a place which I don’t find as interesting as some people do!

“Miss Wonderful” is Miss Mirabel Oldridge, a thirty-one-year-old lady who broke an engagement a number of years earlier in order to take up the running of her father’s estate when he lost interest in it after his wife (also Mirabel’s mother) died.

The Carsington in this book is Alistair, third son of the Earl of Hargate, and a very expensive man to keep in clothes. Alistair is also a war hero, and prior to Waterloo, he had been in a number of scrapes (expensive, naturally) involving women from varying stratas of society. Now the Earl has given him an ultimatum: marry an heiress or the Earl will sell the properties earmarked for his fourth and fifth sons in order to provide an annuity for Alistair.

Alistair shares this ultimatum with his friend Lord Gordmore, and between them they hatch a scheme to provide themselves with an income. The scheme requires them to build a canal through the Miss Oldridge’s father’s property – a scheme which is almost universally disapproved of by the locals.

Gordmore sends Alistair to Derbyshire to try and win the landowners over, and as the Oldridges are the major landowner, that’s where he starts. That’s also where he falls into a stream and sprains his ankle and becomes a guest of the Oldridges while he recovers.

He becomes very smitten with Mirabel, but with no idea that she’s an heiress, he sticks to his guns about the canal, believing that he needs income from the coal to be transported on the canal before he will be in a position to offer for her.

There are subthreads in this book about Alistair’s war injury and a disgruntled ex-bailiff who was sacked by Mirabel years ago. It all adds up to an enjoyable book with rather more to it than just the romance.

I won’t leave it quite so long before dipping into some more of Loretta Chase’s work.

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