by Alice Chetwynd Ley
Series: Eversley #3
Published on July 14, 2016 by Endeavour Press
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
One eligible bachelor, three beautiful women, one family rivalry…
When the Countess of Nevern writes to say that her son, Viscount Pamyngton, is unexpectedly returning home to Nevern Hall, Lady Denham sees a perfect opportunity for one of her daughters to capture him in holy matrimony.
The only question is which girl will he choose?
Of the three Denham girls currently out in society, Eleanor is deemed the most attractive, even if she is rather young, and quite fancies the idea of marrying Pamyngton and becoming the next Countess of Nevern.
Louisa, the eldest, cares not a jot for Pamyngton or his title, as her heart lies elsewhere — she is hopelessly in love with a clergyman whose meagre living makes him an entirely unsuitable suitor.
And Catherine is an impetuous little minx, who often speaks without thinking and is far too flighty to be the wife of a viscount!
This is not the first time a union between Nevern and Denham has been contemplated.
Plans were once made for a marriage between Pamyngton and Fanny Denham, the oldest of the six Denham girls, but when the viscount fell madly in love with the beautiful Georgiana Eversley, the wedding was cancelled.
Fanny is now happily married to a colonel and residing in Brighton — and Louisa, Catherine, and Eleanor have been greatly looking forward to visiting their sister on a bit of a holiday.
But Pamyngton’s arrival at Nevern Hall throws these intentions into disarray.
Lady Denham has absolutely no intention of letting any of her girls out of her sight as long as Pamyngton remains nearby.
But Catherine has other ideas and determines that she shall just have to make her way to Brighton herself.
Her adventure quickly runs afoul as she discovers the dangers of being a solitary young woman walking the roads with neither protection nor money.
So when a mysterious stranger helps her to return home unscathed she is deeply grateful.
However, Catherine is mortified to discover the next day that her handsome stranger is the very same Viscount Pamyngton that her mother desires her to marry.
Desperate to avoid further embarrassment, she does her best to avoid Pamyngton all together.
But it’s only when he starts to take an interest in her older sister Louisa that Catherine realises her true feelings.
Is she already too late…?
A Season at Brighton is a heart-warming regency romance that will pull at any reader’s heart strings.
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Get ready for a simple romance in this reprint of Alice Chetwynd Ley’s A Season of Brighton. Though the third in a series, this book can be read alone as many romances can. Following the tale of three sisters with a mother intent on marrying them off to one of the most eligible bachelors around, it’s a mark of what a romance novel can be without the extra heated encounters.
Catherine Denham is one of six daughters to a wealthy family, with a strong will and a bad habit of getting herself in trouble. Lord Pamyngton just happens to be around to help her out. It’s a sweet romance, one built on conflicting encounters. Katie both enjoys and opposes Pamyngton’s presence, the latter usually after embarrassing herself before him which occurs often. For a romance, theirs was good up until the end and Pamyngton’s sudden declaration of love. I don’t mark it as a spoiler as it’s to be expected from a romance, but due to the shorter length of this novel I found it was a bit too soon and didn’t have a solid enough foundation to read as believable.
The story followed Katie’s ability to get herself in trouble, trusting too much in others and often needing another to pull her out of the mess. Her family’s initial need to snare the girls husbands — namely one particular man — becomes a competition between not three sisters but two, her and Louisa. Though competition may not be the best description depending on which character you ask.
Katie’s personality was, at times, annoying. She blew hot and cold concerning Pamyngton who, though deceiving her once, continued on to help her and ensure her safety regardless of how she treated him. He was perfectly civil and never went above what was considered proper unless the situation called for it. Outside of her continued back-and-forth, she was a decent enough character who, like many romantic heroines, has a streak of stubbornness that sets her apart from the rest of the female cast who are usually more reserved in nature. I didn’t quite relate to her due to some of her nonsensical decisions but I didn’t dislike her. Though of the two I much preferred Pamyngton as his personality was more consistent.
The story had its villain but it was one that Katie put herself before on a number of occasions so when the time came for this villain to act, I didn’t pity her as some of her situation was, in part, her own doing. And he wasn’t so very dastardly. I want a villain who isn’t simply looking for a a means to an end. As it’s a romance, he will surely meet his end but it was a rushed conflict when the villain finally emerged and I felt something was missing from the ending. The story could’ve surely been drawn out into a longer work that would have been more satisfying.
Overall, a simple read, clean compared to many of the historical romances I’ve read published today. Though short, it is a fairly satisfying read.