Hello! Today I’m going to review my last book read in August, Vexed by a Viscount, from Erin Knightley. I received this book through NetGalley and it was a delicious reading: light, funny, romantic and short. All I needed after several too complex books, haha! ❤
Prudence is a girl that always has blindly obeyed her parents, not used to break the rules and social conventions of 19th century England. However, when she finds herself betrothed to an old squire, Prudence decides that being a little rebel won’t harm anyone and will ensure her some good memories for the rest of her marriage time. That’s how Prudence’s list was created, full of things to do on a two weeks’ time, before she marries.
The first item on the list is to swim naked on a lake in bright sunlight and all was well during this particular task – the lake was located on her neighbors’ propriety, but as they were travelling, she was safe to swim without being caught by someone expected. Viscount Ashby, her neighbor’s son and acquaintance, definitely wasn’t someone expected.
William, Viscount Ashby, can’t believe his eyes when he finds shy and proper Miss Prudence Landon swimming naked on his parents’ lake and soon finds out about her secret list. For some reason, Will wants to help Prudence, as he couldn’t imagine her marrying the squire. He couldn’t even imagine himself married to his own betrothed – an arrangement made by his and the girl’s parents at birth.
Between escapades and lots of fun, both Prudence and William need to make a very important decision: will they have the best two weeks of their lives and get over it or will they find the courage to fight for their freedom to be truly happy?
Just wanted to remind that those are my impressions and opinion while reading the book 🙂
I loved this romance! It’s amusing and simple, proving that a book doesn’t need to be complex, big or even pornographic to be wonderful. I admit that I am partial to historical romances, specially England/London set ones, and that they have to exceed themselves for me to not like them, but I regret nothing, haha! This book was a 5 stars for me, even without any brilliances or anything unusual. It’s the kind of book that I love reading and served me right 🙂
The book is short, you can read it on one sitting (and that was basically what I did, haha!). The narrative is simple and fast, but without compromising the characters consciousness’, their thoughts and insecurities. The book is narrated in third person and, for the most part, we follow Prudence around, but William also has his own moments. This is nice because it leaves no holes on the plot, something that really bothers me. A+ for Knightley here!
I really enjoyed all characters, even without being able to connect with Prudence – I always was a very decided and independent person. It was easier to see me grounded because I rebelled than because I was disrespectful or something worse, haha! I never understood people that just follow orders that can change their lives without even hesitating, without thinking about it. I’m not criticizing anyone, as I do believe that each person has their way and their own reasons to do what they do, but that’s not my style, nor now, nor ever 🙂 Of course that we also have to think of the historical aspect of Prudence’s personality and that’s why I think Prudence is more than an heroin: she’s a symbol. She was always good and dutiful without not a single sign of recognition from her parents. Never allowed her true self to surface her mask of tranquility. This is the story of thousands of occidental girls in the 19th century, not only from England. They went from their parents’ hands to their husbands’ without ever being asked what they really wanted and spent the rest of their lives living lies, suffering in silence. Prudence made me reflect a lot about occidental society’s evolution and how much it’s still missing to be okay. For example, one of the items in Prudence’s list is to eat a very large piece of cake because her mother never allowed her to do so. It’s such a modern situation: how many girls don’t feel guilty for eating every day? It’s something to think about. The ghost of the “good” shape already haunts occidental women since the end of the Dark Age. Isn’t this enough already? Aren’t people tired of trying to fit all women in a same size/shape/look? I’m not here to indoctrinate people into seeing how each woman is beautiful as she is, but it’s something that I truly believe in 🙂
Sorry for the mega reflection, haha! Thanks, Erin Knightley, for making me reflect about this. Let’s go back to the characters, haha! I already talked ~ a lot ~ about Prudence, so let’s go to William: one more bookish boyfriend for me! (I do really need to start an official list just for fun, haha!) He was a sweeting and a little goofy – so realistic, haha! By the way, reality and verisimilitude were a very strong point on Knightley’s book, especially on characters. Nobody was forced or too out of the world, haha! Even the squire was very believable.
The plot was simple and well-constructed, without holes. We know what happened to all characters in the end and the reader doesn’t get lost in any moment. As I said, it wasn’t anything brilliant, but I loved it. For me, this book is one of those novel of manners, that show the routine of the time pictured.
Overall, I did miss some description on some parts, like in Prudence’s house and on the lake, but it wasn’t anything that could compromise the book. I also had a great time imagining Prudence’s closet, haha! Besides, I’m curious about the apparent sex “habits” of the squire… We get something here and there on the book and thank god that Prudence didn’t find out, but I got curious to see how bad it was, haha! I really enjoyed this book, I was missing a good historical romance on my life ❤
Bonus point: this cover ❤ I loved it so much! So beautiful, so true! I love this green dress *–*
That’s it! Thanks for reading my review and thanks to Night Shift Publishing for approving me on NetGalley! And, of course, thank you Erin Knightley and congratulations on the awesome book!