Friday, October 4, 2013

The Defiant Lady Pencavel by Diane Scott Lewis

Book Blurb

In 1796, Lady Melwyn Pencavel has been betrothed to Griffin Lambrick since she was a child—and she hasn’t seen him since. Now almost one and twenty, she defies being forced into an arranged marriage. She aspires to be an archeologist and travel to Italy during the upheaval of the Napoleonic Wars. Griffin Lambrick, Viscount of Merther, resents these forced nuptials as well, as he desires no simpering bride and wants no one in his business. For the thrill of it, he smuggles artifacts from Italy to his Cornish estate. Two reckless and stubborn people will meet—with chaos and humor—in this romantic satire, and face their fears.


Lady Melwyn Pencavel, is keenly aware that her independent spirit could not only damage her father, and her distant aunt whom she calls on for help, but that any young miss with a brain must naturally be in danger of losing her virtue as well. This situation is not helped by the fact her mother ran off with the second footman when she was small.

Melwyn takes her maid and flees Cornwall for London, shocks potential suitors with her unguarded tongue and then regrets her impetuosity and dashes back again when her ‘betrothed’ instructs her to. 

Melwyn is very conflicted about Griffin Lambrick, on the one hand she hates the idea that she has been promised to him without her consent, but on the other she is stirred by his dominating kisses. However she doesn’t handle him very well and insults, challenges him, goads his gentlemanly chivalry and uses some very unladylike phrases in an effort to discourage him, although she cannot deny that no other man stirs her blood like he does.

With an unusual passion for archaeology, Melwyn persuades her ‘betrothed’ to finance a trip to Italy, either to prove she is incapable of such a feat or so she will come running to him for help when it goes wrong is not clear.

As the blurb promises, this novel is a romantic farce, chock full of clich├ęs, handsome dominating hero and reluctant hoydenish miss with a sharp tongue. Melwyn gets kidnapped at one point but handles it with such confidence and humour it made me laugh aloud.

Readers should not take this story too seriously as with every line, Ms Scott Lewis pokes fun at late eighteenth century society and men in general. There is also a cheeky Cornish maid with an over the top accent who adds colour and humour. A very fun romp to help blow the cobwebs away.

One thing I would say, is that English Regency ladies do not have 'butt's' they have 'bottoms' although I appreciate this was written for the US market.

Anita Davison is a Historical Fiction Author whose latest release, ‘Royalist Rebel’ a biographical novel set in 17th Century England, is released by Claymore Press under the name Anita Seymour

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