The Seduction of Lady Phoebe (The Marriage Game #1) by Ella Quinn
An amusing regency romantic romp complete with banished lords, thoroughly modern gun toting ladies, and the requisite villain.
Subjected to the unseemly behaviour at the tender age of fifteen by Marcus Finley, Lady Phoebe resents him for eight years. As a callow drunken youth he had forced his attentions upon her. He was brought up short by a punch in the nose delivered by Phoebe's strong right arm. Phoebe had until then secretly admired him. On the eve of being banished to Jamaica, Marcus had fallen for Phoebe. He called her his Vision. In his inebriated state he frightens her off.
Marcus never forgets Phoebe, and on his return to England determines to make her his wife.
The problem is that Phoebe wants nothing to do with Marcus. She bolts to London in hopes of avoiding him. Of course en route she has quite the adventure, and Marcus becomes involved.
There are some amusing lines throughout such as, 'Marcus decided to behave with Phoebe in the same way he had when he'd faced the pirates. He'd show no fear.'
I liked both main characters but found the palpitating hearts when they touched a little too contrived at the beginning. However, as the relationship progressed this aspect became more natural.
The lovely Phoebe is a radical woman for her times and during her courting by Marcus we are treated to lively discussions on the education of woman, their abilities and roles, and the influence of women's rights champions like Mary Wollstonecroft. (Having been discussing Wollstonecroft moments before coming across her name in 'Seduction'. I must admit I was taken aback by the synchronicity of it all).
A fun read with the men and the women of the respective families having echoes of those met in Stephanie Laurens' Cynster novels.
A NetGalley ARC