Book reviews: A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin

Published July 12th 2022 by Pamela Dorman Books


A whip-smart debut that follows the adventures of an entirely unconventional heroine who throws herself into the London Season to find a wealthy husband. But the last thing she expects is to find love…

Kitty Talbot needs a fortune. Or rather, she needs a husband who has a fortune. Left with her father’s massive debts, she has only twelve weeks to save her family from ruin.

Kitty has never been one to back down from a challenge, so she leaves home and heads toward the most dangerous battleground in all of England: the London season.

Kitty may be neither accomplished nor especially genteel—but she is utterly single-minded; imbued with cunning and ingenuity, she knows that risk is just part of the game.

The only thing she doesn’t anticipate is Lord Radcliffe. The worldly Radcliffe sees Kitty for the mercenary fortune-hunter that she really is and is determined to scotch her plans at all costs, until their parrying takes a completely different turn…

This is a frothy pleasure, full of brilliant repartee and enticing wit—one that readers will find an irresistible delight.

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

They paused there for a beat, looking at each other with mutual calculation. It occurred to them both, then – though of course they did not know it – that they might equally have agreed to pistols at dawn.

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting is the most funny and delightful romantic story I have read in a while. It has all components of a proper Regency romance with a dashing sprinkle of modern day sensuality.

It reminded me a little of my all time favorite historical romance The Luckiest Lady in London though the latter is way more spicy in the matters of sex, but the dynamic is very similar in both books: there’s an impoverished girl who has to find a rich husband to support her family. She and the hero start and enemies but gradually develop romantic feelings. I thing the best feature of both stories is an enormous amount of saucy humor and banter between main characters. Sparkles fly off the pages!

Getting back to the lady’s guide I was thoroughly impressed and delighted with the main heroine Kitty. Kitty is one calculating lady! She is very pragmatic and can count up to ten steps ahead on her ‘snare a rich husband’ mission, and it’s impossible to not fall in love with her singleness of purpose. If I performed my task as efficient as Kitty I’d be already the most successful lady in my town!

And the struggles the characters experience were real! I have to comment that after reading this book I am much more aware of the ways of the ton back in Regency England! Really, I would have never imagined that curtsying to a duchess or a countess is such a complex business and if done incorrectly can damn a young lady and her chances in finding a proper husband. Ah, what a delightful world of society sharks!

A lady’s guide is being compared to Jane Austin’s woks a lot. I can agree that here’s definitely a huge similarity and I liked how proper the story was though still very sensual. The only thing I wish there was more banter and interactions between main charters: I was barely patient enough waiting for their encounters. I would really love for this book to be longer!

All in all, if you are in a dire mood for something light, romantic, funny, and intelligent, A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting is just the story for you. It’s unputdownable and goes straight to the best books I’ve read this year. The more endearing this book due to the fact that it was a spontaneous read after I encountered a review of one of my friends and was utterly captivated. That’s a rare case when reality exceeded expectations and I am looking forward to reading more books by a wonderful Sophie Irwin.


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