Lovers and Ladies by Jo Beverley @JoBeverley @Berkley @BerkleyPub @sophiarose1816

Posted March 3, 2024 by Sophia in Book Review / 8 Comments

Lovers and Ladies by Jo Beverley @JoBeverley @Berkley @BerkleyPub  @sophiarose1816Lovers and Ladies by Jo Beverley
Series: Lovers and Ladies #5, #6, #6
Published by Berkley on April 1, 2008
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

In these two delectable novels, someone craves to be married and loses sight of the joys of true love—until their heart is opened unexpectedly... The Fortune Hunter: A stunning beauty rejects the charming suitor who isn't wealthy enough to save her impoverished family. But she can't so easily dismiss the memory of their sweet shared kiss. Deirdre and Don Juan: The dashing Earl of Everdon is most eager to marry someone-anyone-who will bear him an heir. But when he meets a quiet, well-bred lady who fits the bill, he must resort to an amorous dance of deception to gain her acceptance to his proposal.

Lovers and Ladies contains the final two books in the Lovers and Ladies series.  This is a reprint of earlier separate UK editions of both shorter books that could read just fine as standalone Regency era romances on the sweeter side.


The Fortune Hunter

3.5 hearts

A young woman is determined to single-handedly restore the family fortunes by marrying a wealthy husband meanwhile, her plans go awry when she encounters a charming gentleman who is all she could desire save the one thing she is determined is necessary.  Further encounters, mostly hostile, ensue.

If you read enough historical romance, you encounter the terms ‘rake’ or ‘fortune hunter’ tossed about and you also soon realize that the character is nothing of the sort or at least not much.  Sadly, Amy truly is determined as all get out in her fortune huntress role, but she falls short of being a fascinating character because she’s not very good at it and I don’t mean because she is sweet and generous to the hero.  She wants to gain wealth so she can make sure her younger siblings have a place in upper society.  I might have bought in, but, in truth, Amy was the one who decided that none of them could make their way out of poverty and she has to rescue them all which is hilarious because she screws up from the beginning by tossing Harry aside without checking his background and discovering that he’s the heir to wealth and position (aka, the leg up her family needed).  And, she nearly scuppers her older sister’s chances with a rich guy in their country neighborhood because she is bored by him and is rude right when Beryl has attracted his notice and Amy did not.  I found it funny on one level which I think it was meant to be, but didn’t endear Amy to me as a romance heroine.

Harry’s holding fast to his feelings (though after her rejecting those feelings were bitter for a time and he did get pushy about the family’s business) for her based on very little made it tough for me to get into The Fortune Hunter’s romance element.

This read quickly and had a general light and fun feel to it.  I will admit to finding Amy’s plotting and hunt for a wealthy suitor funny and Harry was a sweetheart the way he didn’t give up on convincing misguided Amy she needed to stop trying to sacrifice herself. Loved encountering some of the other recognizable series characters who were in his circle of friends.


Deirdre and Don Juan

4 hearts

After The Fortune Hunter, my expectations were where they needed to be to better appreciate this final Lovers and Ladies story.  Or, the characters and plot tickled my fancy more.

Mark Juan Carlos Renfrew, Earl of Everdon, known as Don Juan for his half-Spanish blood and his rakish ways since his wife ran off on him and he felt free to delight in a bevy of women, has discovered his runaway wife is deceased and he is now fair game to the fortune hunting mamas and daughters.  He decides its best to marry quickly and preferably a woman unlikely to cause him trouble like his first bride.  He settles on plain Lady Deirdre Stowe.

Unfortunately for Deirdre, the Don Juan of high society has scotched her plans to marry her mathematician.  Deirdre has formed a tendre for a man her parents know won’t be a good match for their daughter.  Deirdre wants to play cottage wife to a man whose work is Important with a capital ‘I’ and she will be the little wife who makes it possible.  The deal with her parents is that if she receives no eligible proposals that season then she can have her boring mathematician, but of course the Earl of Everdon is very eligible so she’s stuck saying yes to his proposal and he’s stuck with a woman who doesn’t want him yet again because engagements were big deals back then.

It was obvious that Deirdre’s fixation was just that- a stubborn fixation- and the guy wanted little more than a free housekeeper and it was equally obvious Everdon had to deal with emotion baggage his deceased wife caused him to feel, and that these two sparing partners were really a very good match once they really started to see each other.  Everdon saw Deirdre as a bright, intelligent and not so plain woman when her brilliant fellow barely noticed her or took her needs or wants into account.

This moved swiftly so I was happy to see this pair sort it all out with the help of Deirdre’s fun parents and lively little brother’s and Everdon’s mother.  It was definitely the stronger story in the book and ended the series on a lively, fun note.


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Posted March 3, 2024 by Sophia in Book Review / 8 Comments

8 responses to “Lovers and Ladies by Jo Beverley