I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.
Publisher: Orion Dash
Published: September 2022
Never trust a rake…
Lady Margaret has devoted herself to taking care of her young siblings and the estate while her half-brother fritters away the family fortune. Upon Edwin’s death, she learns he has left them destitute and, worst of all, at the mercy of a notorious and cruel rake.
Lord Nicholas would much rather be pursuing women for quick sport rather than taking care of a headstrong debutante without any prospects, as well as her siblings. But Edwin saved his life once, and now he owes him a debt. Fortunately, all he has to do is find Meggy a husband, and his debt will be paid.
There’s just one issue: Meggy is nothing like what he’d imagined. And the more time he spends in her company, the more he begins to wonder whether he’s met his match…
I love a Regency setting, even though I don’t often read purely romantic books that don’t involve magic or fantastical elements of some kind, so A Lady’s Risk was a nice change from my usual reads!
The setting was close to perfection, so much so that I felt completely pulled in just as if I’d been watching an episode of Bridgerton. The level of historical detail included was great and, even though I’m no expert, it all felt incredibly accurate: the author did a great job in researching it and in bringing it all to life in a way that felt natural and light! I also enjoyed the idea of Margaret’s late brother pushing his rake friend and his sister to work together, acting as joint guardians to the younger siblings. I was certain this would stir up a lot, and it most certainly did! There was a fair bit of drama as Meggy and Nicky had to learn to work together, but their relationship with the younger children was so loving and beautiful it was a real pleasure to read about it. I also really liked Nicky’s relationship with his sister, and I was really keen to know more about her and her husband!
The main characters were probably the ones I had most issues with, actually. I found both of them so incredibly frustrating, especially since a lot of their issues were caused by not talking openly to each other. They behave rather unconventionally towards each other throughout the book (which I really liked!), so I couldn’t even write it off as historical context. Lack of communication is one of my least favourite tropes, and I almost instantly grow annoyed when it happens… this is clearly a “me issue” though, so don’t let that put you off from the book if it’s not an issue for you!
Aside from that, I did like Nicky’s character growth: he starts out as definitely unlikeable but works hard to improve himself and mostly does so. I also liked that he showed his vulnerability and learned to be honest and open with his family and friends, as well as with himself. Meggy I liked a lot less in comparison. She actually started out strongest for me between the two, but she quickly became a very frustrating character to read about and a lot of her inner monologue was quite repetitive. I also would have liked her to experience a more organic growth, as Nicky did, rather than just having a sort of final epiphany, but I did enjoy the ending regardless. That being said, I did like Meggy’s strength of character and the way she’s willing to fight for the life she wants while being conscious of the limitations society places on her as a woman.
Overall this is a well-written, enjoyable book with lots of funny moments, a delightful historical setting and some steamy scenes too! Definitely a great debut and a new author to watch out for in the future.