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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Bilson

Vanquishing The Viscount by Elizabeth Keysian

Emma d’Ibert, scion of an ancient noble family now fallen on hard times, must reinvent herself as governess Miss Hibbert in order to earn her living. On her way to take up her post, she has an encounter with a gentleman which leaves him concussed and not even knowing his own name.

When he recovers himself, Viscount James Tidworth curses the very existence of the interfering woman who caused the delay and cost him his chance at happiness. Encountering her working as a governess at a friend’s home, he vows to make her suffer, but soon realises there is more to the intriguing Miss Hibbert than meets the eye.

This is a well-written story full of interesting little details. There is a lovely section detailing Bath as it must have been in the Regency era in the latter part of the book I found fascinating, and historically I’d say this is definitely one of the more accurately written Regency romances I’ve come across.

That said, I had Questions which weren’t ever really answered by the narrative, like how exactly Emma’s family had lost their money? Her father was a sensible man who didn’t gamble, her brother was training to be a doctor, and they were still in possession of a valuable family manor and the properties surrounding it. Renting the house out and living in a smaller property should recover their fortunes, but it never seemed to occur to anyone. And while I liked Emma, James behaved on any number of occasions like an immature ass. Determining to cause a servant to be fired because of an inconvenience and not listening to Emma when she tried to explain things to him made him look petulant and spoiled. While he eventually got over himself and grovelled for his offences - and there was someone whose behaviour was much worse, to compare him to - I still struggled to warm to James and think him worthy of Emma.

Four stars for a well-written novel with a charming heroine, but a hero who got just a little bit on my nerves.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.

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