Thursday, September 7, 2017

ARC REVIEW Last Gentleman Standing by Jane Ashford

The Last Gentleman Standing was originally published under the name Bluestocking and was only just made available again after 25 years.

This is more of a historical women's fiction with a side of romance. It kind of makes me think of what a newer Austin-esk books might read like, where it's more about Elizabeth and her cousins getting to know one another and how they are dealing with joining high society and all the troubles that come with it followed up by romance. It was a nice read I did enjoy it but for a romance it took way too long for that to happen and the ending seemed a bit rushed. It is third person POV but entirely from Elizabeth's perspective, so my greedy little mind doesn't find out what the other characters are thinking and their motives.

Elizabeth inherited her cantankerous miser of an uncle's fortune, all because she never asked for a hand out, and it was his way of shocking society. Elizabeth isn't your typical English miss, she has been for the last five years been a teacher at a boarding school, she is very intelligent and takes the news of becoming an heiress in a calm and practical manner. She even invites her two cousins, Anthony and Belinda, who were left out of the will to come live with her in London. Elizabeth has her work cut out for her both houses are in shambles from neglect and because her mother's side of the family disowned her for marrying beneath her she has no connections in the London society, for the exception of some cousin she met once as a child before her mother died. Luck for her her solicitor is a really good one and manages to track down her second cousin, Lavina, who is a hoot. Along the way Elizabeth met a neighbor of her country estate, Derek Wincannon. It isn't until later she finds out he is the son and heir to a Viscountcy. Derek is immediately taken with this beautiful but unusual woman and even goes out of his way to please her, unfortunately Elizabeth is kind of oblivious to it until almost the end of the book, more like three quarters of the way in.

Lavina is old friends with a Duchess who likes Elizabeth's straight forward manner and agree to sponsor Belinda and Elizabeth into society. Tony is enthralled by London and gets carried away, and it leads him into some trouble. Elizabeth also meets James Darnell who is an admitted fortune hunter, and falls in love with Elizabeth, fortunately Elizabeth is smarter than that. She also meets a mysterious Mr. Jarrett and a woman reporter who is aspiring to be a published poet.

Overall, the story was good it was definitely well written I like what happened I just think it was too much about everything else and not enough about Elizabeth and Derek.

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