Love Takes Root series
by Lynn Messina
Earning the nickname Lady Agony was no minor achievement for Lady Agatha Bolingbroke. It required a great deal of effort to make herself so disagreeable, but she did it for a good cause: The fewer invitations she received, the more time she had to paint. Her mother, refusing to accept an unpopular daughter—or, worse, a talented one—insists on dragging her to every event of the season. To thwart her parents and to vent her frustration, Agatha creates a wicked alter ego: a caricaturist whose mocking illustrations take ruthless aim at the ridiculousness of the ton. Her most recent target is Viscount Addleson, whom she dubs Viscount Addlewit for his handsome but empty head.
Then one of Agatha’s drawings goes too far and a villain threatens to reveal her true identity if she doesn’t comply with his demands. Now she has an impossible choice—ruin herself or an innocent young lady—and to her utter amazement the only person who can help her is Lord Addleson, whose handsome head, upon closer inspection, isn’t empty at all and whose eyes are full of mischief.
Suddenly, she finds it very difficult to be disagreeable to him.
I love the interactions between Messina’s characters – they are funny and sweet and entertaining – and she delivers again here. While we missed some of the suspense elements in The Other Harlow Girl, Messina brings it back to us with The Bolingbroke Chit. The Harlows are here and there throughout, but this time we focus on Agatha (who was mentioned in the last book but I don’t think we actually met her). Now, of course, she plays a starring role, with a wonderful new hero in Addleson.
The first half of the story is all about getting to know our couple and having them get to know each other. We (and they) learn what makes them tick and get a few surprises along the way. But the second half is all about the troubles that Agatha finds herself in. It isn’t really that much of a mystery because we know who the bad guy is, but they why isn’t there and it’s fun to figure that out along with Agatha and Addleson.
While it isn’t important to this story to have read the other stories (Messina does a great job of filling in the pertinent details), I highly recommend it because they, and this one, are some of the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a long time.