Lady Penelope Campion is not the usual society lady. She looks after and protects lost animals and looks for the good in people, at the moment she has a goat, cow, otter and kittens running around her home along with a disabled dog with wheels in place of the legs that don’t work and a parrot. The parrot is how we meet our gentleman…
After the parrot escapes her house and flies into next door, Penny knows she must go and collect it, however although it’s late at night she believes the house to be unoccupied. Much to her horror she meets her new neighbour, Gabriel Duke in his bedroom in a most surprising encounter.
Gabriel has come up from the streets and has brought the house to do up and sell on, who wouldn’t want to live next door to a real Lady? Thing is Penny is eccentric but she has been summoned back to her family estates if she can’t prove why she needs to stay in London. Her aunt agrees to support her on the condition that Penny gets rid of the animals, she gets a new wardrobe and she must appear in the society pages. Wouldn’t be too difficult you think? Well due to a disastrous incident in her come out season she doesn’t really do the ton. Gabriel agrees to help her rehome the animals and a series of unique encounters bring them together but will it be enough to break Gabriel’s belief in the class divide ‘he wasn’t born one of them and doesn’t belong’?
Penny is assisted by characters that featured in Tessa Dare’s other novels, Emma and Ash, Alexandra and Chase as well as Nicola (whose story I hope gets written so I can enjoy reading about her happy ending) and the blending of the characters is really well done. You get the impression that they are a friendship group, admittedly brought together by the ladies, but who would stick together and support each other through everything
I enjoyed this book, it was well written and the story flowed. I really liked reading about Penny, she is the kind of society lady that I would aspire to be, I’m not going to fit in so I will make life my own
Things are never boring between Penny and Gabriel and their story is full of surprises as well as some oh so forbidden encounters
Tessa’s writing brings the reader closer to the characters and the lives they are living; they seem real and their lives are believable. It’s also not all about the ballroom which is different to many other books so it gives you the chance to see the other side of London. There is also a good split in the voices between Penny and Gabriel so there is a balance and understanding of what is happening in the characters minds which for me works really well
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a historical romance with a twist, it’s not your conventional romance but once you start reading you will be hooked!
AM 🐾 x