Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James
Book 24 in A to Z challenge
Three weeks with Lady X is a historical romance by Eloisa James and, I admit, was chosen because the character Lady X would fit this challenge. The other choice would have been Xenophon - but I decided you all would thank me if I skip the obscure Greek philosopher from 430 BC for some more modern regency romance.
I admit I dreaded it. I had read another book by Eloisa James and had hated it - so I did not relish a repeat. But then I told myself: Get on with it. To my own surprise, I loved it. Enough so that by now I have read the other six books in that series.
So, what is it about? Three Weeks with Lady X is the last in a long series called the Desperate Duchesses. It is the story of the illegitimate son of a Duke who decides he needs to marry - and Lady India, who specializes in bringing unsuitable houses, and Dukes, up to scratch. And whilst she tried to turn him into a man who would be welcome in the highest houses even though his birth is questionable, she... well, you can guess it.
As yet, that sounds like a fairly standard historic romance without anything special to it. What is special is the characters. They are not fragile little flowers - or stupid aristocrats who we are told are highly intelligent but who fall into one stupidity after another. They have wit and honour, humour and a fine sense of being alive. What the author manages is to create characters we can laugh with, we can understand, even from our 21st century perspective - but without letting them lose their regency life.
There are some historical inaccuracies - that is why it is called fiction, not a documentary. But overall she manages to show us the small practicalities of life, through the eyes of loveable, and loving, characters. These books are a welcome change for those who want to laugh, not cringe, when they read a regency novel - aware that what they are reading is some light entertainment, without being stupid. I thoroughly enjoyed it.