In the first novel of Maya Rodale's stunning new series, an American heiress must learn to navigate London society and an infuriatingly irresistible rake . . .
Lord Darcy is the quintessential Englishman: wealthy, titled, impossibly proper, and horrified that a pack of Americans has inherited one of England's most respected dukedoms. But his manners, his infamous self-restraint, and his better judgment fly out the window when he finds himself with the maddening American girl next door.
Lady Bridget Cavendish has grand—but thwarted—plans to become a Perfect Lady and take the haute ton by storm. In her diary, Bridget records her disastrous attempts to assimilate into London high society, her adoration of the handsome rogue next door, her disdain for the Dreadful Lord Darcy, and some truly scandalous secrets that could ruin them all.
It was loathing at first sight for Lady Bridget and Lord Darcy. But their paths keep crossing . . . and somehow involve kissing. When Lady Bridget's diary goes missing, both Darcy and Bridget must decide what matters most of all—a sterling reputation or a perfectly imperfect love.
Don’t want to read the whole review? Click to jump to the Skinny Review.
I was a little wary about starting this book. Why? Becuase the last few historical romances have left me feeling uninspired – like I did not entirely connect with the romance anymore. THE HORROR! But rest easy because the book fairies have given me an awesome gift.
Eh? What was it?
It was THIS book! I mean, I was just over the moon because I finally, FINALLY rediscovered and reconnected with my first love historical romance! So yes, THANKYOUSOMUCH Maya Rodale for this awesome book.
What makes this book AWESOME?
What makes it awesome, you ask? It’s THE CAKE! There is lots of cake eating (in the middle of the night), and plans of stealing the Duchesses cook if the family goes back to America, and dieting – or trying to diet and failing.
Aren’t ALL heroines skinny?
Lady Bridget is on the voluptuous side, obvs she wants to lose some weight (what?!) so she would fit in and find the love of her life. Of course, she already met him in Mr. Wright, Mr. Rupert Wright, Dreadful Darcy’s (Looooord Darcy) brother. Oh yeah, it was also AFTER she made a grand (ehemmm) entrance at the ball.
What’s with all the O’s?
As I’ve said, Lord Darcy is this stickler for propriety, snobbish Lord, who frustrates and irritates Lady Bridget to no end. And because she is American, she tries to mimic the British accent by emphasizing the O’s in lord. I thought that was cute.
I thought this was a romance. Not CUTE!
Lady Bridget’s Diary is still a historical romance but it is a little light with a comedic edge. Think of it as a historical Rom-Com. Neat, yeah? There is still some heavy back story stuff with Lod Darcy, but it’s not as prominent as the fun!
Let’s go back to the CAKE.
So this book does a great job in incorporating family/sibling relationships. I especially love Bridget’s big brother James (the new Duke of Cavendish) and his relationship with his sisters. Plus, there is some late night sneaking to the kitchens to eat CAKE, where you also find Lady Bridget because – dieting.
What about LOVE?
Obvs Lord Darcy is smitten by Lady Bridget and is trying his best to hide it, but Lady Bridget is not paying attention to him at all. I mean, because of Mr. Wright. However, things happen and secrets are revealed and there’s THE KISS (and a closet) and the rest is history.
So, is there even a DIARY?
Well, duh there IS! Lady Bridget does HAVE a diary and she writes down all her observations, thoughts, and lists about Dreadful Darcy and them some. Of course, the diary goes missing and secrets are ABOUT to be revealed.
Well, I’ll leave that up to you! Pick up Lady Bridget’s Diary and read it. You will not be disappointed!
Oceans crossed: 1
Sisters who plagued me the entire journey: 2
Brothers who suddenly became a duke: 1
Fearsome duchesses: 1
Lady Bridget’s Diary
One would think that having one’s brother inherit a dukedom was a stroke of good fortune that would transform their lives from ho-hum to utterly fantastic. One would think that until one was on a reducing diet, stuffed into a tightly laced corset, and forced to practice walking backward.
“Once again, Lady Bridget,” the duchess said crisply.
She was Lady Bridget Cavendish now. Before she had just been Bridget Cavendish of Duncraven farm in Maryland. But then a letter had arrived one day, with the unexpected news that James was now a duke and they were all to leave everything behind and travel to England, immediately.
“Yes Lady Bridget, once more please,” Amelia said with a smirk.
“Do shut up, Amelia,” Bridget said, under her breath. Younger sisters were quite annoying, on any continent.
“It’s ‘Do shut up, Lady Amelia,’” Claire, the oldest sister, corrected. She found all the formality as ridiculous as the rest of their family, much to the despair of the duchess.
Somewhere about the massive house—probably in the stables, even though the duchess made it perfectly clear dukes were above mucking about in the stables—was her brother, James. Or, as he was now to be known, His Grace, the Duke of Durham. Dukes had many responsibilities, it seemed, but walking backward in a gown with an excessively long train was not one of them.
Before her, with sharp blue eyes and perfectly coiffed blond hair, was Josephine Marie Elizabeth Cavendish, Her Grace, the Duchess of Durham, widow of the previous duke, and aunt to the Cavendish siblings.
One did not call her Josie. Amelia had asked.
“Remind me why we are learning to do something as ridiculous as walk backward?” Claire asked. From a young age, she had spent her free hours devoted to the study of mathematics, otherwise known as Important Work. Bridget’s head ached just to think about it.
“It is for your presentation at court,” the duchess replied. “Which is necessary before your debut in society, which you must do in order to find a husband, which a lady must do, lest she become an impoverished spinster.”
“What if we do not wish for a husband?” Amelia asked.
“What a silly question,” the duchess replied. “Lady Bridget, once again.”
At the duchess’s request, Bridget sank into a curtsy. They had practiced this extensively on Tuesday afternoon. Then, with as much grace as she could muster, Bridget rose and began to elegantly glide backward. Or so she tried; feats of grace did not come easily to her (a point upon which their dancing instructor would absolutely agree). Nothing about being a True Lady did. Bridget had daydreamt through lessons on the order of precedence amongst members of the haute ton, how to properly pour a cup of tea, and all the other lessons on etiquette and deportment they endured morning, noon, and night.
“Now Lady Amelia, it is your turn.”
While the duchess’s attention was focused on her sisters, Bridget took advantage of her distraction to continue walking backward until she had crossed the length of the ballroom, then she continued through the large double doors and halfway down the corridor, at which point she turned, lifted her skirts, and proceeded to the kitchens. Reducing diet, deportment lessons, and True Lady-ness be damned.