Another great find thanks to Good Reads and Misuzmama's Amazon lists.
Olivia Parker has a great talent for writing physical comedy. Even though I predicted a couple of the gags before they actually came to fruition, she still had me laughing out loud.
A clumsy heroine, Madelyne Haywood is still a delight. She's stubborn and uninterested in the two Devine brothers who are holding a house party in order for the youngest to find a bride. The duke himself doesn't wish to ever marry, having seen the damage his parents' union did to his mother. He'd rather have his younger brother be his heir and carry on the line.
When we enter the story, Madelyne (sp?) and her best friend Charlotte are at a soiree at the duke's London mansion. The event's purpose is to choose seven women of the ton
to receive invitations to the aforementioned house party. Tristan -- the younger Devine -- is not involved in the choosing. His older brother -- Gabriel, the duke -- and his sister -- Rosalind -- are doing the choosing. Mostly Rosalind.
Maddie is not at all interested in going to the house party, but her b*tchy stepmother/guardian, Priscilla, demands she place herself in the running. And Charlotte, being in love with Tristan, covets an invitation for herself.
The story takes place almost entirely at the house party, but for the most part we spend time with Maddie and Gabriel. They often end up separated from the pack and it's wonderful to see them together and watch them fall in love.
This is a light story. Nothing complex (although there were moments when I felt a lump rise in my throat), but an engaging read nonetheless.
I highly recommend this story as an antidote to stressful times. It's fun and funny and romantic and lovely.
One thing though. I want to know that Priscilla is living UNhappily ever after and Maddy and Gabriel are having NOTHING to do with her. Since it's not actually said in the book, I prefer to imagine it that way.