Premium Journals, Book #2
Heat Factor: Animalistic. But like, in a sexy way.
Character Chemistry: Confusing for everyone involved. Until it’s not.
Plot: Lady Georgina decides that she wants to sex her steward. Also someone is killing sheep.
Overall: This was Hoyt’s second book, and the pieces of what make her later books so great are there, but they’re not quite fully developed yet. Still bonkers and fun.
If someone acts like a flibbertigibbet all the time, so much so that no one can tell that they’re not, are they actually not a flibbertigibbet? A philosophical question for the ages.
Anyways, Lady Georgina is kind of flighty. There a moments where we have her internal thoughts, and she’s like, “I’m not going to play the silly woman with this man.” But then when they’re alone and she’s telling him stories she kind of meanders along and loses the thread of what she’s saying and is just generally ridiculous. So I would say she’s legit flighty. Somehow this was not irritating to read because Lady Georgina is also perceptive. She notices that when she says ridiculous things Harry Pye’s shoulders bunch up—right before he responds very calmly to whatever she’s said. And she decides she wants to make his shoulders bunch up again.
Let’s talk about the cross-class dynamic in this book; it’s where the angst comes from, after all. In Chapter 1, Lady Georgina notices that her land steward is a MAN. This is inconvenient. He is a servant, and, to use her words, “servants should have no gender.” She wishes she could go back to thinking of him as she would a chair (useful when she needs him, out of her thoughts otherwise), but she just can’t. So she kind of starts…we’ll say toying with him. And, being a MAN, Harry Pye does not appreciate being toyed with. The angst comes in later, once they start sleeping together: will Lady Georgina risk her class status to be with Harry Pye for real? Will accepting Lady Georgina’s love emasculate Harry Pye?
In addition to the angst, there’s a subplot about Harry’s relationship with a neighboring landowner and some dead sheep. It’s pretty suspense-y and involves one of my least favorite narrative choices, the villain-POV chapter. I didn’t love that part of the book and felt that, unfortunately, it overshadowed the love story.
There really are some great bits to this story. The little scenes where George rearranges the animals on Harry’s mantlepiece while she and Harry are talking are wonderful small moments of character work. And the emotional conflict between George and Harry are really wonderful.
Is this a must-read romance? Maybe not. But if you’re into bonkers historicals and haven’t read Hoyt’s *entire backlist*…what the heck are you waiting for?
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