A ENGAGEMENT OF CONVENIENCE by Regina Scott: Kitty Chapworth is nearly a spinster, and an orphan living on the charity of her uncle, with nothing to recommend her for the marriage mart. Her primary purpose is relegated to acting chaperone for her cousins until she can see them successfully married. Kitty remains focused on her duty even though she knows her future is bleak. When Quentin Adair returns from a long ten years working in Jamaica and proposes a wild charade to Kitty, she agrees, although the plan might reawaken her old feelings for Quentin. Can a reformed rake convince the perfect chaperone to overlook propriety for love?
A PERFECT MATCH by Donna Hatch: Genevieve attends a summer house party hosted by her best friend who can’t wait to introduce her to a gentleman she wants to marry, Christian Amesbury. After meeting him, Genevieve determines Christian is perfect . . . for her. Torn between loyalty to her best friend and the yearnings of her heart, Genevieve must first escape the attention of a powerful lord who’s obsessed with her and who tries to rob her of any hope for a happily ever after.
THE PAUPERS’ HOUSE PARTY by Sarah M. Eden: It’s a rare event that Edward Downy and his brother are invited to a house party by a member of the ton. But when they arrive, Edward quickly realizes this house party is different than any other. All invited guests are quite destitute, fallen members of Society barely hanging onto their homes. The hosts of the house party, the Warricks, then make a stunning announcement—they intend to gift all their properties to one fortunate guest. As the guests race to impress the Warricks, Edward finds a fast friend in Agatha Holmwood, who shares his same aversion to the horrible expectations. But their growing fondness for each other only makes the game more painful.
Sissy: What a delightful collection of stories! There is something about a clever, Jane Austen-esque tale that makes me happy. The first book, An Engagement of Convenience by Regina Scott showcases two people who, though considered almost too old for the fresh marriage market, actually have matured past their teens enough to know what they really want. I enjoyed being part of their journey whilst they figured this out!
Bubby: One of my issues with the Regency era is the complete lack of power that women had. This is well illustrated in A Perfect Match by Donna Hatch. Poor Genevieve! She’s fallen for the perfect man but because she’s not allowed to have actual conversations with the opposite gender, there’s nothing she can do about it. Not to mention the fact that when Mr. twice-her-age sleaze bucket comes after her with a vengeance, all she can do is smile, nod, and move to the other side of the room. I’d have slapped him and kicked him in the nuptials! Luckily, all works out well in the end.
Sissy: Which we require, of course. It is lovely to have books like these to escape to when the TV is full of explosions, hate, and mayhem, whether real or fictional. My sons and husband went to the latest intense film on July 4th and after watching the trailer I said no thanks. Stayed home and watched a sappy, happy, love fest, I did. The third story, The Pauper’s House Party by Sarah M. Eden, is definitely a twist on the house party theme. The Warricks are the epitome of the pompous,snooty nosed gentry, and the pathetic kowtowing displayed by the less fortunate blue bloods is almost unbearable. But entertaining! Agatha and Edward manage to rise above the grubbing others and find happiness in the end, differently than you might expect.
Bubby: All the stories in Summer House Party are fabulously diverting. Makes me wish I had a massive manor house in the English countryside in which to throw a fortnight of entertainment. I’d even invite Sissy.
Sissy: I’d only come if there was indoor plumbing and antibiotics.
Bubby: Did you think we were going to time travel? I don’t go anywhere that doesn’t have indoor plumbing. Ever. So when the kids are yelling “I’m bored, mommy,” and you wish school was starting tomorrow instead of six weeks from now, lock yourself in your bathroom (hurrah for indoor plumbing) and read Summer House Party! Your sanity will thank you.
Click HERE to buy Summer House Party by Sarah M. Eden, Regina Scott, and Donna Hatch