The Mad Herringtons (Classic Regency Romances) by Jane Myers Perrine
An amusing romp. I sometimes wondered if had fallen into an Oscar Wilde or Noel Coward play. My heart quite goes out to Aphrodite as she tries to control her more passionate wild sisters and brothers. After all she is the 'sensible' one (after all she is reading Sense and Sensibility). Almost engaged and off to a House Party to meet her fiancé's mother, some of her siblings accompany her.
Those names the Herrington children all have! Quite diverting! Greek gods and goddesses and muses. As is the reason why the Marchioness named her offspring thus.
Anyway as we follow some of the Herrington's antics we behold Terpsichore crossed in love, Athena a baggage if ever there was one (sort of Lydia Bennett but obsessed with kissing and practising on footmen and stablehands), and Aphrodite herself determined to be the 'proper' Herrington.
Aski (Asklepios), Aphrodite's brother joins the group masquerading rather terribly as an Italian Conte having come down from Cambridge, Frederick--her almost fiancé seemingly only interested in his mother's well being, Frederick's dreadful malevolent mother, and Thomas, Viscount of Warwick whose kiss Aphrodite has never forgotten, and who steps outside his role of bored ennui into, well, a caring and almost besotted man.
There are some wonderful scenes with Frederick's deplorable mother's focus on the getting of grandchildren and fecundity.
With all the mad 'Goings On', the House Party's performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream fades into sensible along side the antics of the mad and not so mad Herringtons and those assorted house guests.
As Warwick mused when a stray imp of mischief decided him into joining the House Party, 'The addition of those tempestuous personalities and efforts of the proper sister to control them contained the elements of a farce.' So true!
Really a delightful read. I smiled all the way through.
A NetGalley ARC