Intriguing The Viscount by Arietta Richmond
Intriguing The Viscount is set in London in the period shortly following Waterloo and Napoleon’s final exile to St. Helena. While it is an excellent Regency-era romance, it also delves into some of the social issues of the day, including the grinding poverty experienced by the lower classes and the growing discontent among the middle class, in particular their distaste for the excesses and entitlement of the Ton.
Arietta Richmond skilfully weaves all these themes together by introducing Charlton, an aristocratic second son who fought in the wars and came home to inherit an Earldom on the death of his depraved older brother. Left to clean up his brother’s messes, Charlton still has work of his own to do for his country when he is recruited to keep an eye on a displaced French aristocrat suspected of plotting sedition.
Lady Odette, the heroine of the book, is the half-English daughter of the aristocrat in question. Exiled to England when very young, she has lived happily with her mother’s family ever since. Trying to be a dutiful daughter to the father she hardly knows, she is a very sweet and charming character, saved from being cookie-cutter by her intelligence and love of reading. I absolutely loved the scene where she quoted the beginning of The Iliad to Charlton; it was obvious that was the point at which he quite lost his heart to her.
The flow of the story was at times a little choppy, but overall this was a very good read. Though it is the second in a series, it reads very nicely as a standalone and all the major plot points are nicely wrapped up by the end of the story. Four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through Reader’s Favorite.