This book. Oh this book!!! LOLOLOLOL
I have no clue where the idea to write a historical romance in today's times came to Fraser, but I glad it did.
I give you, Emilia Pembroke, Lady. 28 years old, back home for the summer from school. Millie is an experiment in social awkwardness if I ever saw (read) on. She says the wrong things, not because she doesn't know what to say, but because she has no filter. She almost always has a certain double entendre in her words and is sassy beyond belief.
There’s a long pause after we both pull away. Initially, I’m too dizzy with happiness to do anything but smile. Then I remember what I was going to do before our romantic exchange and, being me again, there is no hesitation between remembering and saying it aloud. ‘Would this be a bad moment to say that I really want to suck your cock?’ Blair chuckles, shaking his head in disbelief. ‘I really do love you.’ ‘Is that a “yes”?’ ‘What are you waiting for?’
Mother snaps into action, grabbing hold of my arm. She’s certainly alive now. It’s like someone has lifted the haze and told her to get on with it before I weasel my way out and bring down the entire empire. ‘And, pray tell, how long does it take to drive from Knightsbridge to Kensington?’ ‘Probably the time it takes for Shakespeare to travel here so he can ask for his language back. “Pray tell”, indeed.’
And her thoughts are hilarious:
Ten minutes later, a white-haired man in a grey suit approaches and, for a moment, I’m convinced it’s him. But it soon becomes apparent that he’s here for the lady next to me. It’s like a geriatric version of Snow White: he leans down, kisses her on the cheek and, suddenly, she’s alive again. It’s sort of sweet, if you discount the drool and the smell of Old Spice.
At the airport Blair Baxter - butler, 29 years old - picks her up (or should I say collects her?). Millie doesn't believe him that he's their butler (her mother doesn't have one in her London home) and only after confirmation from Lady Silsbury, she goes along with him. Needless to say that puns, banter, sarcasm and downright rudeness accompany the ride, and subsequent weeks.
Here are a few:
‘Look, just think about what I said. Believe it or not, I’m not trying to be cruel.’ He stands tall, exuding his particular brand of confidence all over again. ‘Enjoy your treat, m’lady.’ ‘Like that’s even possible, thanks to your addition of this phallic fruit!’ I hold up the sundae as if doing so demonstrates everything that’s wrong with this situation. He ascends the stairs, smiling as he looks over his shoulder. ‘Sorry it’s so mushy. I know how much you prefer things to be rock hard.’
Did I mention I looooove Blair?
Better to have fucked and lost than never having fucked at all. <---LOOOOL
I try to picture where his stash might be. ‘These condoms, are they strategically placed around the house? We’re very spontaneous, you know.’ ‘It’s not a bloody Easter egg hunt,’
Another thing that they share is insane attraction and growing feelings for one another.
Millie's mother is eager to marry her off to the first rich and dashing gentleman caller, and even signs her up with the aristocracy's dating service. Reluctantly, Millie cooperates, and is coupled with Oliver, a successful banker.
On Millie's side we have Abby, her best friend who is happily married to a charming young man. She truly supports Millie and is a good friend to her, and a fountain of funny comments along the story. I loved Abby. Some of her shining moments:
Abby places her hand on my arm, patting me reassuringly. ‘Hey now, no panicking. Here, have some shortbread.’ I stare at the shortbread that she’s holding out in her other hand. ‘Is that known to stave off panic?’
Want one, Mrs P?’ she asks my mother. I answer for her. ‘A countess never drinks from plastic.’ ‘It’s only plastic because I might smash the real thing when tipsy,’ Abby says, leaning back and looking supremely nonchalant. ‘The rest of the crockery here is real.’ Mother doesn’t seem to have the patience for this. ‘Honestly, I’ll be drinking moonshine from a hip flask if I can’t get you to cheer up,’ she says to me. ‘Should I use affronting language in order to communicate with you? What’s that expression you used the other day, Abby? The one I frowned upon?’ Abby sits up as if she’s been called upon in class. ‘Calm your tits?’
‘Of course he likes you! You’re Likey McLikeable!’
Throughout the entire story, a financial crisis hangs over the Pembrokes' head following a bad investment on her father's part. And this imminent crisis is, in a way, tied to Blair's past, which is revealed in itty bitty increments.
The story is packed with wit, sass and clever puns. Fraser's humor and excellent writing exceeded all my expectations from this debut novel (which I was SURE I would enjoy). Win win, ha?