Sara’s Review of The Spinster’s Guide to Scandalous Behavior by Jennifer McQuiston

spinstersguideRating: paw4

Publisher: Avon

Date Published: November 24, 2015

Series: Seduction Diaries #2

Goodreads Description:

In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McQuiston’s enticing new Seduction Diaries entry, a mysterious journal may provide a potential spinster with instruction—or lead her to her heart’s desire…

Free-spirited Lucy Westmore isn’t yet a spinster, although she fully intends to be. Fortunately, an eccentric aunt has left her both a diary detailing the secrets to spinsterhood and a cottage in Cornwall. Unfortunately, an insufferable marquess is angling for her prize! Turning Lord Thomas Branston down flat should be easy. So why does this man who won’t take no for an answer make Lucy’s body and soul sigh yes?

Thomas knows the real value of Heathmore Cottage, and he has no intention of letting some silly Society miss get her hands on it. He’ll simply have to charm Lucy into selling. But the clever young woman he encounters, first in London, then en route to Cornwall, stands stubbornly on her own two (quite lovely) feet. And now, Thomas can think only of sweeping her off them.

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This was a wonderful addition to McQuiston’s Seduction Diaries series. It’s filled with humor, has a great many memorable characters, and keeps you turning the pages in order to find out how everything is going to end.

Now I’m going to be honest and say that I found Lucy to be more than a tad annoying in this novel, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the story and hoping she’d find her happy ending. While I was fond of the precocious young girl that readers were introduced to in the first book in this series, the adult version of Lucy was far to stubborn for my liking. I could applaud her desire to be independent and wanting to strike out on her own, and I even liked her impulsiveness, but it irked me that she would never ask Thomas for help and automatically assumed that he and every man out there were not to be trusted based on the words written in her aunt’s diary. Thomas, meanwhile, was easy to connect with. My heart went out to him at the start of the book when his former fiancée publicly dumps him at his sister’s funeral. It was a lousy thing for her to have done, but then what can one expect from a high society lady of the ton? I loved that Thomas was interested in botany and couldn’t help but smile every time he would give the Latin name for a plant to Lucy. He’s one of those characters who you can’t help but like because he’s intelligent, caring, humorous, a bit of a goof, and can see the bigger picture when it comes to all that is going on around him. He’s the perfect match for Lucy, and I enjoyed watching their relationship develop throughout the course of the book.

What I loved most about this story were the diary entries from Lucy’s aunt, Miss E. These entries introduce the reader to a woman who is eccentric, mischievous, quick to find humor in everything, and fiercely independent to a fault. She’s very much an older version of Lucy, but her stubbornness didn’t get under my skin the way Lucy’s did. While I smiled during every passage of Miss E.’s diary, my heart also went out to her in the later passages because you can feel the loneliness she felt later in her life. I have to applaud McQuiston for conveying so much emotion in these passages, she truly brought Miss E. to life, and even though her character was not the primary focus of the book, I couldn’t help but want to know more about her and see more of her as I was reading.

Another aspect of this book that I liked were the twists that occurred within the plot, in particular the twist regarding Thomas. Thinking back on it, there were clues that I didn’t catch during my read through, and I expect that if I had caught them I wouldn’t have been as surprised once the truth was revealed. Phrasing is everything where this particular matter is concerned, and while I know you’re probably wondering what I mean by all of this, I’m simply going to leave this subject there and let you discover Thomas’s secret for yourself.

I think the only thing that disappointed me was that we haven’t yet been given much of an idea of what happens to Lydia, Lucy’s half-sister, in this series. We’re given the knowledge that she fills in for Lucy at various events while she’s in Lizard Bay, and we’re told that she has met someone once Lucy returns to London, but nothing more is shared about what happens with her. Yes, I understand that this is Lucy’s book and so the focus is meant to be on her, but given that the next book in the series focuses on Geoffrey, the youngest Westmore, I have to wonder just what happens to Lydia in the end. Will McQuiston give us her story at some point I wonder? Here’s hoping because I suspect that she would be a fun character to learn more about!

Overall I highly recommend that fans of McQuiston’s novels give this book a read. The romance is slow to build but steamy once it starts, which is perfect for anyone who loves a good historical romance novel, and there’s definitely a little something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s hoping that Geoffrey’s book is just as entertaining, murr!

About the Author:

Jennifer McQuiston PHOTO CMYK

A veterinarian and infectious disease researcher by training, Jennifer McQuiston has always preferred reading romance to scientific textbooks. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, their two girls, and an odd assortment of pets, including the pony she promised her children if mommy ever got a book deal.

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