Emma is known as the Harlow hoyden because she flaunt society’s expectations of the core for young ladies. She prides herself in engaging in adventures that would not be becoming of a young lady.She enlists the help of Alex, Duke of Trent, to woo the affection of her engaged sister Lavinia.
“What good is a libertine if he won’t toy with your sister’s affections and then ruthlessly drop her?”
Alex is a bored Duke that humors Emma because she intrigues him. On one hand, he is a very proper person that tries to follow the rules of polite society. But on the other hand, there is something about Emma that keeps him coming to her rescue. He tries to justify his behavior by thinking that she needs someone to keep her out of trouble.
When I read the synopsis, I thought that this would be like an Amanda Quick novel. When I finished the first chapter, the opening scenes emphasized my first impression. As I continued reading, the similarities between Emma and Amanda Quick’s character were there but not as profound.
I have mixed feelings towards Emma. She had spunk and energy that I like. However, her irrational behavior meant that she had a less than credible reputation. She would blow things out of proportion to such an extent that she came across as being high strung. There were many times that she would act before she knew the full story. In the situations where she had all the facts, she did not elaborate, filling people in with the information that would be useful for them to make a decision. Therefore, when there was a verified threat, no one believed her.
I wish I could have shaken her.
The only reason why Trent went along with her harebrained schemes is to be able to save her when things inevitably went wrong. It could all be summed up when he said, “I have a vested interest in keeping that beautiful body of yours safe”. Mmm hmmm. He did it all for the nookie.
At least by the end, she acknowledged to some extent her limitations because of society’s expectation of women.
Overall, while Emma was not one of my favorite characters of all time, her antics did make for an entertaining story. She found true love and her happy-ever-after ending. The Harlow Hoyden: A Regency Romance is a good read if you like Victorian and Regency style romances. Just be prepared for Emma’s antics to drive you a little batty.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.