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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Bilson

Lady Edith's Lonely Heart by Audrey Harrison

Lady Edith’s Lonely Heart

A dashing tale of romance from a bestselling author of Regency Romance.

She is under pressure to find a husband she doesn't want.

He keeps to the fringes of society because of family constraints.

Will the written word be enough to bring two lost souls together?

Lady Edith Longdon is an heiress, in danger of being classed a spinster, and disillusioned with the fops, dandies, and fortune hunters surrounding her in society. Deciding it’s time to take her future into her own hands, she devises a foolproof way of finding someone she can love. She's convinced nothing could go wrong…

Lord Ralph Pensby, overwhelmed by a sense of obligation, and with no one he can turn to, is adrift from those around him…

Two people drawn together, both on a journey which will affect them in ways they could never have foreseen. Secret correspondence, mistrust and confusion, not to mention cads of the highest order, make this novel a fast-paced, heart-warming story, with appealing characters and a strong sense of time and place.

Perfect for lovers of all things Regency.

My Review:

A few cruel twists of fate and the conventions of mourning mean that Lady Edith is having her first season at twenty-three… and in the Regency, that makes her practically an old maid. With her mother on the verge of accepting any proposal Edith might receive on her behalf, Edith is desperate to find a husband on her own terms, and preferably one she can like and respect, maybe even love. Fortunately, she has her brother Miles on her side, a former soldier who will take no nonsense and won’t force her into anything. He’s willing to give her as much leeway as she needs.

The truth is, Edith would actually really like to get married. Targeted by the unscrupulous for her hefty dowry rather than her person, in an act of desperation she decides to place an advertisement in The Times’ newspaper’s Lonely Hearts column.

I have to admit I laughed at the responses Edith got… but not in surprise. Any woman who’s ever joined a dating app has received responses just like that, ranging from those trying to take financial advantage to the blatantly, repulsively sexual. I really felt for her despair. And then I felt absolute fury because the hero of this book knew she placed the ad (although she didn’t know he knew) and decided to write to her anonymously and basically vent to her as though she was his unpaid therapist.

OMG, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wanted to punch him in the mouth. Edith did get to give him the most wonderful set-down, and he was certainly made aware of not just that he’d made a mistake, but the shocking magnitude of his actions and just how awful it was to abuse Edith’s trust that way. To give him credit, he does do an epic grovel, and I did understand that he was in a situation of enormous stress, trained mental health therapists not exactly being thick on the ground in the Regency era.

The author references You’ve Got Mail as part of her inspiration, and I could definitely see the parallels in the story, but the problem for me was that I never liked that movie. There’s an inherent power imbalance when one party knows the identity of their correspondent where the other does not, and unlike many power imbalances, it’s one that could easily be corrected with a little bit of honesty. The failure to disclose is a moral failing on the hero’s part I really struggled to get past.

I did have some issues with the editing of this book too; there were a few too many typos and incorrect terms for me; things like ‘goaler’ instead of ‘gaoler’ and the phonetic ‘blaggard’ instead of ‘blackguard’. I am reviewing an ARC and will give the author the benefit of the doubt in assuming these issues will be cleaned up before publication, but if not, they might wish to consider a final professional proofread next time around. For the hero’s moral failings, I’m afraid I do have to knock off a star (although I liked both Edith and the book’s premise) and give this a final rating of four stars.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via Rachel’s Random Resources.

Author Bio – AMAZON UK KINDLE STORYTELLER COMPETITION FINALIST 2018! Audrey was born about two hundred years too late. She wants to belong to a time when men were men and women were dressed in gowns and could float, simper and sigh. In the real world she has always longed to write, writing a full manuscript when she was fourteen years old. Work, marriage and children got in the way as they do and it was only when an event at work landed her in hospital that she decided to take stock. One Voluntary Redundancy later, she found that the words and characters came to the forefront and the writing began in earnest. So, although at home more these days, the housework is still neglected and meals are still late on the table, but she has an understanding family, who usually shake their heads at her and sigh. That is a sign of understanding, isn't it?

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