Skip to main content

Review of "The Spinster's Guide to Scandalous Behavior" by JenniferMcQuiston

Scandalous BehaviorAfter finishing The Diary of an Accidental Wallflower, I felt the need to dive into its sequel, The Spinster's Guide to Scandalous Behavior, which is about 10x better than its predecessor.  Gone were all of the problems I had with the first book, but unfortunately, they were replaced by a new set of them.

Lucy Westmore was finally getting her London season, something she absolutely did not want to have.  She hated the idea of parading herself around for men who would only want her for her dowry.  She'd much rather spend her time helping orphans or writing to prisoners.  Just as the season was to start, she gets a mysterious package from her recently deceased Aunt E.  Inside, four volumes of Aunt E's diary and the key to her cottage in Lizard Bay.

Thomas, the Marquess of Branston, thought he was buying Miss E's small cottage in Cornwall and had even started making the necessary repairs when he found out that the sale hadn't quite been legal.  He needed that cottage, but one meeting with Lucy and he knew it wasn't going to be easy.

I'm honestly torn between liking Lucy and wanting to slap her silly for her actions in the first half of the book.  For much of the first half, she appeared to be throwing the mother of all temper tantrums, her fists flailing through the air as she screamed, "I'm of age," over and over again.  I get why she was upset--her father had tried to sell her aunt's cottage right out from under her, but the way she went about letting everyone know she disapproved annoyed the hell out of me.  If it wasn't for McQuiston's stellar writing, I wouldn't have made it through the first few chapters.

One of the things that confused me about this book was the fact that Lucy's family seemed almost completely different from the way they were portrayed in the first book and it made me wonder if Lucy was not as liked as her sister, Clare, had been.  For instance, Lord Cardwell, Lucy's father, was ridiculously unreasonable in this book, but in The Diary of an Accidental Wallflower all that mattered to him was Clare's happiness and whether Daniel would make her happy despite the difference in their classes.  Here, he acted like a complete asshole, belittling Lucy's hobbies and acting as if his daughter was too stupid to make her own decisions.

Then, there was Lydia, Lucy's half sister, who was welcomed into the family at the end of Wallflower, even though she was her father's daughter with his mistress.  She was only in the last few scenes of Wallflower, but I got the impression that Lydia was a strong, brave young woman--she approached her father after finding out about him when most people wouldn't have dared do the same in fear of being thrown out on their asses.  In Scandalous Behavior, she has become this meek-minded miss, who would rather acquiesce than speak her own mind.  Somehow, in the four years since the end of the first book, Lydia lost her spine.

The thing that I really enjoyed was reading about the assorted people of Lizard Bay and how they all loved Lucy's aunt.  While her whole family thought of her as a stain on their reputation at best and crazy at worst, the people of Lizard Bay respected her and asked her to be a part of their lives.    The best parts of the book were the ones about or written by Miss E (the titular guide was made up of Miss E's diaries, which chronicled her life from the time she left London until the day she died).  This is where Ms. McQuiston shined.  I loved every single person in the town of Lizard Bay.  They were basically the Victorian version of Stars Hollow, minus Lorelai and Rory, unfortunately--although in a way Miss E did have a bit in common with Lorelai (fleeing from her privileged world for a small town full of people, who would become her family).

The one thing I most wish was different was that Miss E never got her happy ending.  It was obvious that she'd been in love with someone from pretty much the first day she stepped foot into town and that that person returned her feelings, but alas it was not to be.  In effect, the guide was more a blueprint of what not to do.   The phrase "Do as I say, not as I do" could have been etched onto the cover of Miss E's diaries.  That would definitely have helped Lucy decide what to do when it came to her feelings for Thomas.

4 Stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.


The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Lord of Chance" by Erica Ridley

Title: Lord of Chance Author: Erica Ridley ISBN: 1943794049 Publisher: Webmotion Series: Rogues to Riches #1 Price: $7.99 (paperback) $3.99 (e-book) $9.97 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 





I was recently given the opportunity to take part in a Blog Tour for the newest Erica Ridley novel, Lord of Chance, and as I've liked her books in the past, I decided to do it.  The publisher quickly provided me with  a whole folder full of goodies, so without further ado:
The Excerpt
'Charlotte harrumphed to hide her amusement. “How are you at pressing wrinkles from gowns?” “Let me assure you,” Mr. Fairfax informed her with utter seriousness, “that I have never worn a wrinkled gown in all my life.” “Very gentlemanly.” She tried not to smile. “Let’s see your skill as maid-of-all-work, then. My gowns are in the wardrobe, as is my traveling iron. See what you can do.” “At your service.” He bowed, then turned and marched to the wardrobe like a soldier off to war. Now that he couldn’t see her, she let her…

Review of "Pretty Face" by Lucy Parker

Pretty Face is pretty fucking awesome.  There, I said it.  I first picked it up based on all the squeeing about Ms. Parker's first book, Act Like It, which I am sad to say, I still have not read, despite said squeeing.  I don't usually read books by authors I know are British and I'm sure this comes from all those stuffy classics I had to read in high school.  Granted, many of those classics were written by American authors (I still have nightmares about reading Moby Dick--Mr Sullivan, if you are out there and have stumbled on my blog, I'm sorry, but Melville was an awful writer, who used the English language as a torture device), but still, there seems to be some type of block in my brain that stops me from wanting to read something by a British author.  I'm glad I made an exception for Ms. Parker.

Luc Savage is in the middle of a crisis: he can't find anyone to play Elizabeth I in the new play that he is producing.  While he's used to dealing with actors…

Blog Tour and Review of " A Lady's Code of Misconduct" by Meredith Duran

I'm going to be honest.  When I first got the email about being a part of this blog tour, I was ecstatic.  I've only read one Meredith Duran before this (Sweetest Regret, a novella part of a 2015 Christmas Anthology), but that one was so good that I had a bit of a fangirl moment as I responded.  I wish that what I got was as good as the anticipation of the thing itself.

From the Publisher:

A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL…
Trapped in the countryside, facing an unwanted marriage and the theft of her fortune, Jane Mason is done behaving nicely. To win her freedom, she’ll strike a deal with the most dangerous man she knows—a rising star in politics, whose dark good looks mask an even darker heart.
…NEVER GOES TO PLAN.
The bitter past has taught Crispin Burke to trust no one. He’ll gladly help a lovely young heiress, provided she pays a price. Yet when a single mistake shatters his life, it is Jane who holds the key to his salvation. And in a world that no longer makes sense, Crispin slowly rea…

Review of "Sleepless in Manhattan" by Sarah Morgan

I bought this book with the intention of reading it on a plane from San Francisco to New York City last weekend.  Of course I read about 30% before even stepping foot onto the plane and once I was actually on it, I read maybe 5%, listening to the most recent Smart Bitches podcast and watching a few episodes of Charmed on Netflix because I had an awful night sleep the evening prior and was too tired to read.  I finally sat down to read it Sunday and Monday night.

Paige Walker has lived a sheltered life, brought low by a heart condition that had her in and out of the hospital until her late teens, but now in her late 20's she's finally healthy and happy.  She loves her life in Manhattan.  She'd felt stifled in her hometown of Puffin Island and as soon as she was able she moved to New York with her best friends, Eva and Frankie, as well as her older brother, Matt.  On the verge of a promotion at work, she figures she's got it all, but then the rug is pulled out from unde…