2.5 starstakes forever about chapter 18 for it to get anywhere but worth it I ve given this a B at AAR, so that s 3.5 stars rounded upThe Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels Other Gentlemen might well win an award for being the longest title in historical romance The first book in Victoria Alexander s new Lady Travelers Guide series, it s a light hearted romantic comedy, set mostly in Paris around the time of the Great Exposition, in which a starchy spinster comes up against a charming scoundrel and discovers perhaps her previously held, deeply entrenched opinions aren t as set in stone as she d believed them to be.Miss India Prendergast has come to a meeting of The Lady Travelers Society in an attempt to ascertain the whereabouts of her cousin, Lady Heloise Snuggs, who recently set off on an extended journey which, India has been given to understand, was organised by the society But she hasn t received a letter or other communication from Heloise for some weeks and has become concerned for her safety Further investigation has revealed that the society has done precisely nothing for Heloise there is no record of their reserving hotel rooms or making any travel arrangements on her cousin s behalf India is convinced the organisation is a fraud, taking money from unwitting women whose dreams of exotic travel and desire to throw off the shackles of everyday existence and live an adventurous life blind them to the fact they are being swindled.Derek Saunders has lived the life of a rakish young bachelor, kicking up a storm in society and enjoying a reputation as a scoundrel of the first order Or he did, until his uncle, the Earl of Danby told him that he d cut him off without a penny if he didn t change his carefree, frivolous ways and start acting a bit like the heir to an earldom should Oddly enough, Derek finds he has a talent for numbers and business and he quite enjoys working with the earl s estate and business managers But the discovery that his great aunt Guinevere and a couple of her friends seem to be running some sort of scam is something he hadn t banked on having to deal with Deciding that his uncle won t look kindly upon Derek s abandoning his duties in order to pursue a missing traveller and work out what his aunt is up to, Derek apprises the earl of the situation, and is surprised when he comes up with a plan to both find Lady Heloise and keep aunt Guinevere and her friends out of prison.Derek had already decided that it s his responsibility to find Heloise, and that as her most recent letters came from Paris, that he s going to start looking for her there When India insists on accompanying him, he already knows enough about her to know that she won t brook a refusal, but his uncle takes that news in his stride He undertakes to employ a firm of private investigators to find Heloise while Derek keeps India otherwise occupied and out of the way in Paris it s a good idea, and although Derek isn t completely happy about keeping Miss Prendergast in the dark, he recognises it s the most likely way to find her cousin.So the stage is set The prim and proper spinster and the dashing rogue accompanied by Professor and Mrs Greer, who are acting as India s chaperones arrive in Paris and start to make the rounds of all the hotels at which Heloise might have stayed, and continue the bickering and verbal sparring they d begun at their initial meeting India is stiff and unyielding in her attitude and outlook and makes it very clear that she doesn t trust Derek as far as she could throw him Fortunately, however Ms Alexander saves her from being a complete prig by having her be able to admit when she s wrong and hinting at the vulnerability that lies beneath her unbending exterior.Derek is handsome, charming and clever, and while India infuriates him, she intrigues him, too During the time they spend together in the course of their search for Heloise, he discovers a different side to her, one she rarely allows to come to the surface, but one he likes very much India has thought herself ordinary all her life, and while she isn t exactly a great beauty, there s no doubt that she s striking and intelligent, and Derek likes that she isn t afraid to speak her mind She s practical, sensible, self assured and annoying in short she s the exact opposite of everything he has ever wanted in a woman, and yet he finds himself wanting rather desperately to kiss her and, in a few short days, feels as though she has become a part of his life.As their search continues, India has to admit to herself that she truly likes Derek and is attracted to him, but there s still the pesky matter of whether she can bring herself to trust the man when she believes him to be responsible for the fraudulent activities of the Lady Travelers Society.One of the things I ve enjoyed in other books I ve read by this author is the dry humour and witty dialogue, and both those things are present in abundance here The verbal thrust and parry between India and Derek is delightful, and there s plenty of banter between them and other characters, too, most notably between Derek and his step brother Val, the Marquess of Brookings who I hope is going to get his own book at some point , whose relationship is obviously one of deep affection and frequent exasperation The author has a splendidly deft touch and the dialogue never feels forced or too drawn out it s not laugh out loud, but it s wry, funny and clever.But while this is all lovely and light and frothy, the problem is that there s not a great deal of substance beneath the surface While India s growth from a woman who believes herself to be content with her narrow horizons and who thinks that efficiency, practicality and being well organised are all she needs to be into a woman who realises that there is to life and has the courage to reach for what she wants, is nicely done, there isn t a great deal of chemistry between her and Derek there s no question they like each other, but there are none of those spine tingling moments of sexual tension and awareness that are hallmarks of a really good romance.The book boasts a colourful supporting cast, including Derek s stepbrother, and his mother, a grande dame in the truest sense and I really enjoyed the author s depiction of Paris, the street caf s, the grand hotels, the wide boulevards, all of it putting the reader right there on the viewing platform of the Eiffel Tower or among the crowds strolling along the Champs Elys es.The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels Other Gentlemen is not going to find its way onto my keeper shelf, but it is an entertaining, easy read, and is exactly the sort of thing you might want to pick up when you re in the mood for a non angsty, funny and well written historical. Embark On The Breathtaking Romantic Adventures Of The Lady Travelers Society In The Brand New Series By New York Times Bestselling Author Victoria AlexanderReally, It S Too Much To Expect Any Normal Man To Behave Like A Staid Accountant In Order To Inherit The Fortune He Deserves To Support The Lifestyle Of An Earl So When Derek Saunders S Favourite Elderly Aunt And Her Ill Conceived And Possibly Fraudulent Lady Travelers Society Loses One Of Their Members, What S A Man To Do But Step Up To The Challenge Now He S Escorting The World S Most Maddening Woman To The World S Most Romantic City To Find Her Missing RelativeWhile India Prendergast Only Suspects His Organisation Defrauds Gullible Travelers, She S Certain A Man With As Scandalous A Reputation As Derek Saunders Cannot Be Trusted Any Farther Than The Distance Around His Very Broad Shoulders As She Struggles Not To Be Distracted By His Wicked Smile And The Allure Of Paris, Instead Of Finding A Lost Lady Traveler, India Just May Lose Her Head, Her Luggage And Her Heart I am wavering between 3 and 4 stars here I enjoyed it, but there were a few plot points that I felt, as the listener, that I was expected to suspend judgement and trust it would all come right in the end It did, but just It was superbly narrated, though.India is a very prickly heroine, and it took me at least an hour to even start to like her She did come around, and by midway, I liked and felt for her quite a lot Her prickliness was very understandable Derek is a sweet, well meaning hero He is supposedly charming, but I didn t feel we saw that much His aunt and her friends, his mother, India s cousin, basically all of the characters of an older generation are very entertaining, great cast of supporting characters.Edit I decided to bump this up to four stars The way the never wrong uber competent India transforms after finding herself in an untenable situation that causes her to rely on others was well done, and it is sticking with me I also think if when I visit this one again I will like it even , seems to be one that grows on you. Victoria Alexander s new story, The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentleman, is a pleasant romance adventure India Prendergast is on a mission to find her missing cousin She wants the Travel Society to help find her relative considering this group sent her out on a trip to the continent and apparently has lost her Derek Saunders realizes this can t be good when the person who is threatening his aunt arrives in person and demands resolution His only choice is to go to Paris and look for her himself With escorts in tow, Derek and India set out on this adventure and go from adversaries to lovers.I love nothing than to see characters that go through a total transformation over the course of a story like the heroine in this story India was an uptight, sensible spinster who had a narrow view of things and those rigid views were never wrong She was independent and had a job which wasn t typical in those days With each passing day in Paris and in the company of a carefree scoundrel, she realizes she was wrong about a lot of things Her rigid stance, and even her hair, started to loosen and relax She also sees Derek in a new light and sees a different and caring side to him The journey she makes to become a new person yet the same was a delight to read and made the happy ending even sweeter.Derek Saunders is a hero in the making as he tries to reform his wicked ways His uncle wants him to clean up his act and start acting like the earl he is to be He s loyal to family and goes the extra mile to protect his aunt and takes on her problem to keep her from scandal What isn t easy for him is how India gets under his skin with her opinions and actions Those moments were fun to read to see him work to get along with her His mother and stepbrother enter into this story and support his efforts and even help with India s transformation He is definitely up to the challenge of keeping her in check while she keeps him on his toes.I love Victoria Alexander s writing style because it is descriptive and whimsical She took me to Paris of 1889 and had me smiling and chuckling throughout The main characters developed over the story and I found them very likeable Even her secondary characters were a hoot when they were in the scene It might have been slow in the beginning, but with every new series, you need to set the place and people and that takes time Once that was complete the story took off The ending wrapped up nicely and I loved how she tied up all the loose ends Victoria Alexander is one of my favorites and I look forward to stories in this new series.Review copy provided for a voluntary review. I gave this a shot, but in the end, the writing style just wore me down And it wasn t really anything terrible It s just that Victoria Alexander takes her own sweet time with things You can kind of tell that s the case when you first pick up the book, just from the heft That many closely written pages means that either a lot of stuff happens or you re going to have to get down and savor every moment because the author surely has.I got as far as I did about halfway because I liked both India and Derek quite a bit Well, I hated that India s entire schtick was bad assumptions with poor extrapolation because that made her look both stupid and judgmental And she wasn t really either of those things, so it felt like the author was cramming her into a shape to fit the storyBut that s beside the point because I stopped because I just bogged down and realized that it was taking forever to develop, well, everything And once I noticed that, it felt like someone had strapped this book under an elephant s foot it was that hard to pick back up. I love romance novels for the fluff escapism tame drama, happy ever after, armchair time travel, appealing sexytimes.This first book in a new series did that for me, and if you like tame, slow burn romances, this one is for you Our heroine, spinster India Prendergast, is convinced the Lady Travelers Society is a scam Her beloved aunt has disappeared, and the women running the society are unable to locate her Worse, Derek Saunders, famed bad boy, is related to one of the women who run the society, and he has taken it upon himself to help find India s aunt.Obviously, their instant dislike for each other means they re going to fall madly in love and that was fine by me.Normally I wolf down romances in a matter of days, but I actually took a break from this one because it s pretty slow moving The mystery was a little tiresome because there was an intentional can t tell the truth for this rather flimsy reason plotline and it did stretch on a leeeeeeeeetle too long But I found India charming a working woman who enjoys order and control and Derek to be reformed raconteur who helps India loosen up and the secondary characters were fun.The reveal was fun, and an interesting set up for the Lady Travelers Society In terms of sex, there was none or virtually none, I really can t recall , so if you re not feeling the hot and heavy, this is a good romance to read I ve had my eye out for the second book something to keep in my back pocket for cranky days and depressing weekends. This may be the first audio book I have given 5 stars I read one other book by this author I enjoyed it but not enough to seek out an entire series by her I loved this one The story is funny, and the narrator is great.Unlike others, I did not dislike India It was Lady Heloise who I did not like To me, she was just as weak willed at 50 as she was at 17.I definitely recommend giving this one a listen It took awhile for the plot to get there, but when it finally did, it was worth the wait More than the first half of the book drags, presumably because the main character, India Prendergast, is extremely unlikable However, when the story began to finally unfold, there were several sweet and laugh out loud scenes which were highly entertaining I absolutely loved the characters of Val, who was hilarious, and Mother, who always knew best of course.I highly recommend this books prequel novella The Proper Way to Stop a Wedding in Seven Days or Less.3.5 starsThank you to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a slow go and yet, still awesomely enjoyable Series Believe so Sexy times Do not recall I think there was a bit at the end Tame city Plan on reading by the author Why not I ll have to be in the mood though and as of late.Synopsis India s aunt goes missing after planning a trip with the Lady Travelers Club which is really just a scam to take elderly women s moola India is just convinced Derek is the man behind the scheme after she sees him meeting with the three women who run the Club, one of those women being his aunt Off we go to track her last few stops to try and find dear old Auntie Derek decides they are heading to Paris, the city of lights Derek has reasons of his own for making this stop 1, and after a bunch of back and forth, India is all like Well, if we must Heroine India She s rather stern, super opinionated and always right But she s not Always right that is If the woman were a knife, she d be a ceramic knifethe kind where you accidentally cut your knuckle when chopping onions Hero Derek So he s no better here He s hell bent on correcting India s way Um, who asked you, dude At the same time, he s doing the best he can with what he s got And he s mighty shocked to find himself all attracted to sharp India Why it did or didn t work for me So it worked It was a wonderful story of both a woman and a man trying to figure out who they really are and how to love themselves and right their wrongs Talk about a journey I love that both MC s had to walk that road They certainly needed to They were both kinda cranky f ckers What I didn t love That everyone in the book felt the need to point out to India all of her wrongs Yo, talk about keeping a good woman downIt s one thing to talk to someone about their behavior and encourage them to seek out alternatives and it s a whole other to constantly harangue a person and tell them what a crank they are Nope That did not work for me Happened like 10 too many times If you can get past that, this really is a fun read And it s a wonderful journey.Signed, A little tenderness and this might have been five stars
See this thread for information New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much fun than real life She turned to writing full time and is still shocked it worked out.Since the publication of her first book in 1995, she has written thirty one full length novels and six novellas The Perfect Wife originally published in 1996 and reissued in March 2008 hit 1 on the New York Times list Sixteen of her books are bestsellers hitting the New York Times, USA Today and or Publishers Weekly bestseller lists With books translated into than a dozen different languages she has readers around the world and has twice been nominated for Romance s Writers of America prestigious RITA award In 2009 she was given a Career Achievement Award from RT Bookclub and was named Historical Storyteller of the year in 2003 In 2008 she was the keynote speaker for the Romance Writers of American annual conference in San Francisco Victoria credits much of her writing success to her experiences as a reporter.Her years as a broadcast journalist were spent in two radically different areas of the country Nebraska and West Virginia In West Virginia, she covered both natural and manmade disasters She was on the scene when a power plant construction accident in a small town left 52 men dead She once spent the night on a mountain waiting to learn of the fate of coal miners trapped in a mine collapse Victoria was producing a newscast when her husband who worked at the same television station and several other journalists were held hostage by a disturbed Vietnam veteran In Nebraska, she reported on the farm crisis and watched people lose land that had been in their families for generations She covered the story that was the basis of the movie BOYS DON T CRY and once acted as the link between police and a gunman who had barricaded himself in his home Her investigative work exposed the trucking of New York City garbage to a small town dump in rural Nebraska.During her journalism career, Victoria covered every president from Ford to Clinton She knows firsthand what it feels like to be surrounded by rising floodwaters and inside a burning building She s interviewed movie stars including Kevin Costner, ridden an elephant and flown in a governor s helicopter She s covered a national political convention and Pope John Paul II s historic visit to Denver as well as small town festivals celebrating everything from walnuts to Glen Miller Her work was honored by numerous organizations including the Associated Press who called a feature about a firefighter s school story telling genius It was the encouragement she needed to turn from news to fiction She s never looked back.Victoria claims her love of romance and journalism is to due to the influence of her favorite comic book character Lois Lane, a terrific reporter and a great heroine who pursued Superman with an unwavering determination And why not He was extremely well drawn.Victoria grew up traveling the world as an Air Force brat Today, she lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and her dogs Victoria had two bearded collies, Sam and Louie named from characters in one of her books Sam on the left , the best dog in the world for 13 years, passed away in September 2010 Louie took on the position of loyal companion and did a fine job even though he doesn t understand that kitchen counter surfing is not allowed Now he s been joined by Reggie, also a faithful companion.They all live happily ever after in a house under constant renovation and the accompanying parade of men in tool belts And never ending chaos Victoria laughs a great deal she has to.
- Mass Market Paperback
- 538 pages
- The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen
- Victoria Alexander
- 19 May 2019 Victoria Alexander