It’s been a while since I’ve read a regency romance. I had forgotten how much I adore them. There’s just something about stories set in that time that are full of possibilities. I can believe unbelievable love stories when they’re far from the twenty-first century.
So often regency romances are about upright young women being corrupted by privileged rogues who are so bored they have nothing better to do than attempt to (and usually succeed in) deflower innocent young ladies. Not so in A Shocking Delight. Both David and Lucy have a lot going on in their lives. David is super busy with running his bankrupt earldom as well as a smuggling gang. Lucy is occupied with trying to find her place in the world when her grieving father decides to remarry. So instead of eventually taking over her father’s business, Lucy has to find something else to do with herself. When she’s practically attacked by suitors, she convinces David to act as her soon-to-be husband. And she pays him with kisses.
One of the best things about A Shocking Delight is that Lucy is the one who deflowers David, so to speak. So often in such stories the man has to coax the young woman into realizing that they were meant to be together. There’s a bit of a role reversal in this story. It’s a good thing Lucy is no frail society girl. Turns out David needs a woman with a mind of her own who’s willing and able to keep him from being an idiot.
I loved the playful banter and the sweet romance. While there’s quite a bit of passion (thanks to the payments with kisses), there’s nothing super graphic, which many people will appreciate (including my bestie). There’s a bit of action and adventure, a touch of intrigue, and many light-hearted moments. I laughed out loud a couple of times.
While I doubt I read the previous fourteen books in this series (and you don’t have to, it works as a standalone), I absolutely enjoyed A Shocking Delight and am delighted (I couldn’t resist) to have rediscovered Jo Beverley.