The Defiant Lady Pencavel by Diane Scott Lewis

The Defiant Lady Pencavel by Diane Scott Lewis
Publisher: Books We Love
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (161 pgs)
Heat: Sensual
Rated: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

In 1796, Lady Melwyn Pencavel has been betrothed to Griffin Lambrick since she was a child—and she hasn’t seen him since. Now almost one and twenty, she defies being forced into an arranged marriage. She aspires to be an archeologist and travel to Italy during the upheaval of the Napoleonic Wars. Griffin Lambrick, Viscount of Merther, resents these forced nuptials as well, as he desires no simpering bride and wants no one in his business. For the thrill of it, he smuggles artifacts from Italy at his Cornish estate. Two reckless and stubborn people will meet—with chaos and humor—in this romantic satire, and face their fears.

Diane Scott Lewis’s The Defiant Lady Pencavel is unexpectedly humorous and lively. Our heroine Lady Melwyn Pencavel steps forward as a typical eighteenth century about-to-be-married young woman, in a way that is immediately recognizable to fans of the Historic English Romance Genre. She grouses about her lot but – unlike the typical marched-to-marriage young woman, has her own aspirations and more than enough spirit to take of family and society expectations.

Her aspirations do not include a decent marriage, life, or society,  and how she wishes she could conjure magic to get her out of it all!

Griffin Lambrick, the Viscount of Merther is not her dream.  As a matter of fact, betrothed or not, it appears she is not his either. Oddly, they do share this interest in archeology. There are stern moments, light-hearted, and downright silly (Oh, and Lady Melwyn’s maid! So fun!).

In spite of a person and plot that kicks off in an entirely recognizable manner, Scott Lewis bring us an imaginative and unpredictable storyline. Surprises delighted me, and that is enough reason alone to recommend reading The Defiant Lady Pencavel. My recommendation is not without some reservations: some conversations are too wordy and so cluttered with explanation or backstory that they become unbelievable. At the opening, the tale bogs down with too much discussion of society – as if the norms of the day were to be remarked upon. However, once things get going, they really do take off. Better yet, they charge forward in entirely unpredictable ways.

Fans of the English-style romance will have to put aside expectations and let themselves enjoy some silliness here – a worthwhile read (and nice change of pace).

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