Alexander, Victoria. The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen. Don Mills, Ontario: HQN, 2017.
The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen
This is my first Victoria Alexander book, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s a bit slow for the first several chapters, but once the traveling starts, then the plot really picks up, and I found myself become really attached to this cast of characters.
India is the sort of heroine that is progressive for the time, having gotten an education, and is working as a gentleman’s secretary. And while her lack of interest in the wider world and her overly buttoned-up persona may turn some readers off initially, it’s nice to grow with the heroine as she experiences the first real adventure of her life.
Derek is a nice change from the jaded rakes whose past has made them reluctant to fall in love. He is a charming character, who we discover is a romantic, due to his mother’s influence (his mother having married three times, all for love), and he is the one who works to expand India’s horizons. Though they often talk about the fact that India wants to “reform” him (in part due to her belief that he is behind his aunt’s Lady Travelers Society scheme and is defrauding women), it is India who is reformed.
As many great first books in series do, they grab you by introducing you to secondary characters who will likely appear in future installments, sometimes as heroes and heroines. Percival, Lord Brookings, is Derek’s stepbrother,arguably rivaling him in the flirtation department, and I look forward to seeing who will win his heart (perhaps in the next book?). And having set up the hijinks of the Lady Travelers Society so well in this book, I cannot wait to see what the three ladies get up to next time!
The Proper Way to Stop a Wedding (In Seven Days or Less)
This novella was bonus material at the back of The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen, so I included it in the same review. I am somewhat reluctant to read stories about couples where I know their ending will be less than happy (as it feels like more of a HFN, or happy-for-now, than an HEA) but Alexander made this story, detailing the romance of Derek’s parents’ courtship, work, especially given that I had just read about her when she was older, reflecting on the loves of her life.
As a romance, it wasn’t anything special, but you do see how the knowledge of his parents’ history may have shaped Derek. And you can’t help but see a bit of Derek in his young uncle Edward, something that was alluded to in the main novel.
What I enjoyed the most about it was seeing a bit more of Aunt Guinevere, Mrs. Fitzhew-Wellmore, and Mrs. Higginbotham, as every scene they were in had me laughing hysterically.