The Toast of the Townby Alice Chetwynd Ley
Series: Eversley #2
Published on August 9, 2016 by Endeavour Press
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Publisher (via NetGalley)
Amazon / Barnes & Noble
The beautiful Georgiana Eversley is well aware of her intoxicating power over men…
With her tawny hair and dancing green eyes, many fall for her instantly.
She takes it for granted that she could captivate any man who catches her fancy, though few men do.
The likes of Mr Curshawe tire her, and she tolerates the wealthy Viscount Pamyngton, but no man amongst her many admirers brings that magic Georgy so desperately wishes for.
But when there is a collision between Georgiana and the handsome young Dr. John Graham, sparks fly.
He lets it be known that he doesn’t care for her at all, and Georgiana’s hurt pride demands revenge.
She accepts a daring wager from to prove that she could indeed entice the young doctor…and jilt him savagely as well.
But Georgiana is unaware of the whims of passion and unprepared for the events that ensue.
Could this be what Georgiana has waited for all her life?
Or is she destined to be in the comforting arms of Viscount Pamyngton?
I managed to read the Eversley books completely out of order. These books work as standalones, but the characters tie in to each other so it made for a few memory gaps that thankfully didn’t take away too much from the story.
In the third book, A Season at Brighton, there’s talk of a Miss Georgiana Eversley who broke the heart of our dashing hero from book #3. Her story is The Toast of the Town which I think I liked more than the last in the series.
Georgiana is a headstrong young woman who draws the eye of any man who sees her, except one elusive doctor, John Graham. What better a challenge for a young woman used to getting her way with everyone than to see if she can make the young doctor fall in love with her in a matter of a few weeks?
I think that challenge, in particular, made this book far more exciting than book 3. I felt like there were higher stakes in the friendly challenge sort of way, plus I’ve always loved the cliche of falling in love with the one you’re pitted against. And like the previous Ley book, it’s a clean romance with very little in the hot-and-heavy department.
I loved Georgiana’s character because she’s both feminine but believes there is more to life than sitting around embroidering and listening to the menfolk. She manages to be stubborn and strong-willed without going down the path of the strong heroine who rejects all aspects of being a woman in the time she’s living in.
Ley’s leading gentleman doesn’t succumb so easily to Georgiana’s charms which makes him both an anomaly and the perfect verbal sparring partner for the lady. Their banter livened up the book and kept it moving. I think one of my favorite set-ups in romance novels (actually, any novel with romance) is when the protagonists hate each other to start but fall in love over time. You see that here with Georgiana and John.
In terms of the story itself, the plot revolves around Georgiana’s attempts to seduce the good doctor while also toying with her two other suitors. I think her character development is the most pronounced of any in The Toast of the Town. She goes from spoiled and inconsiderate with a drive to be more than a pretty face, into someone forced to face what her actions have brought down on her.
This was a light and amusing read. The book is fairly short and kept my interest from start to finish. Though I’m not sure about the first in this series, both this book and the third were enjoyable for what they are: quick, clean regency romances. Hopefully the first book proves to be just as interesting.