Once again, I find myself in a quandary: how to celebrate a friend's book while maintaining my (perhaps over-scrupulous, judging from book-world example) bloggeristic ethics? For high school bestie Theresa Romain's second Regency romance, Season for Surrender, is even better than her first! But if you can't take my word for it, well, it's the November book club pick at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, an honor that ain't nothing to sneeze at.
It picks up where Season for Temptation left off, continuing the story of shy, sweet Louisa Oliver, who's recovering from the scandal caused by her erstwhile fiancé-of-convenience's love match with her sister, Julia. She's surprised but secretly delighted to be invited to Lord Xavier's infamous Christmas house party; she doesn't know at first she's the subject of a wager between the notorious rake and his equally dissolute cousin--ten pounds on whether the proper young lady can be induced to stay the full two weeks without fleeing aghast at the other guests' antics. Xavier knows the bookish miss won't be able to resist the lure of his large but disorganized library--but Louisa also sees a chance to escape her sedate lifestyle before it solidifies into staid spinsterhood.
So much good stuff here! Books, cryptography, parlor games, a mistletoe-gathering contest, spouse-swapping, a cigarillo-smoking Italian opera singer, the return of Louisa's snarky Austenish aunt, Lady Irving--and a rake who's begun to chafe at his role, and a timid girl tired of fading into the background, slowly connecting and creating their truest selves. And books! And LIBRARY MAKEOUTS. LIBRARY MAKEOUTS. I need to find my husband a frock coat, pronto.
P.S. Yep, I'm aware it's been a month since I've written, and I've decided to just let the interim reads fall by the wayside (though they're all recorded and reductively rated on my Goodreads page). Here are my excuses, in order: illness. Wedding. Honeymoon. Hurricane.