July 17, 2015
Author brain glomming glaze in effect.
As much as I love Elizabeth Boyle, I am happy that Lord Langley is Back in Town is the last
of the full-length books in the Bachelor Chronicles for me to read. My brain developed a Boyle glaze over for a short while. Now, that may not sound too good for Lord Langley is Back in Town, especially when one considers I wasn't too fond of it the first time around. But don't get too excited because this time I liked it. I think that my change of opinion on this particular book lies mainly in the fact that I read it immediately after all the others, so this time around I wasn't lost in the plethora of characters that were found in the book. I will be honest, I don't think this is a very good standalone book. There are just too many paths to follow and plots to close from the other books. And, if your memory is shoddy, the numerous characters are overwhelming. However, as I said before, this time around I did enjoy this story and the characters of Minerva and Lord Langley.
Minerva is one of the Standon widows and now that the other two are married she has her whole house to herself and she's really really looking forward to it. She wants to be free, free of any entanglements and she definitely doesn't ever want to be married again, much to the chagrin of her matchmaking aunt. So, Minerva is ready to set in the easy chair with her feet up drinking coffee - wait, that's me - anyway, she's ready to enjoy the peace of the house she's living in without the other two widows and their baggage causing trouble. Knock knock. Uh oh, who’s that knocking at my door? Don't open it, don't open it! Too late, in barges the ex-mistresses of Lord Langley. They are on a mission, they know that Lord Langley's is in this house and they are determined to find him. Minerva knows he's not and she's determined to push these women out of her house. She loses; she is no match for a bunch of worldly, strong-willed women with a mission on their mind. Unbeknownst to Minerva, Lord Langley, who was thought to be dead, has escaped from a French prison and has been hiding out in Minerva's attic.
He is was a master spy who was set up and accused of being a traitor, so he has been sneaking around trying to find the person/s responsible. One evening he returns home to find the mistresses there and decides caution is of the essence, so he decides to climb up the drainpipe and ends up in Minerva's bed. Now, Minerva's reaction to a strange man in her room/bed isn't the quietest; in fact her screaming wakes everyone up. What plan does the master plan come up with? He embarks on a false engagement with Minerva. His thinking is that a public cavorting will bring out the evil villain.
Lord Langley is the fun part of this book. He's smart, good-natured, and playful. The banter between him and Minerva is a lot of fun. None of Minerva's secrets seem to have very much of a detrimental effect on Langley. He accepts most of them without any condemning. In fact, his wicked enjoyment of life pushes Minerva out of her repressed shell. Langley and Minerva are also an older couple, so there was a certain lack of innocence about the couple. The first time I read this book, I thought it would make a good Preston Sturgis screwball comedy and I still do. The shenanigans of a houseful of mistresses just screams for all kinds of demented episodes. I also liked Minerva better this time around. Her starchiness makes a perfect foil for the devil-may-care attitude of Lord Langley.
While I did enjoy this book for the most part, the ending was a little too much with waaaay to many previous characters showing up to save the day. Even though I wasn't confused about who was who this time around, it was just a little bit overcrowded to enjoy. I do wish authors didn't feel the need to include allll of their heroes and heroines from previous books in the final book of the series. I also wasn't too excited about the epilogue and the keeping of the secret from Felicity. Overall, this was a fun read, but it comes with a warning: it should be read in quick succession with the other in the series because it doesn't do well on its own.
Time/Place: Regency England