A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting
Published: 12 July 2022
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Kitty Talbot needs a fortune. Or rather, she needs a husband who has a fortune. Left with her father’s massive debts, she has only twelve weeks to save her family from ruin.
Kitty has never been one to back down from a challenge, so she leaves home and heads toward the most dangerous battleground in all of England: the London season.
Kitty may be neither accomplished nor especially genteel—but she is utterly single-minded; imbued with cunning and ingenuity, she knows that risk is just part of the game.
The only thing she doesn’t anticipate is Lord Radcliffe. The worldly Radcliffe sees Kitty for the mercenary fortune-hunter that she really is and is determined to scotch her plans at all costs, until their parrying takes a completely different turn…
This is a frothy pleasure, full of brilliant repartee and enticing wit—one that readers will find an irresistible delight.
TL;DR: It took a little while for me to warm up to the story and writing (and okay, Kitty) but once I took a moment to sit down with it, I ended up finishing 70% of the book in one sitting. This was a wonderfully classic regency romance in the vein of Jane Austen and it was such a treat to read! I really enjoyed Irwin’s writing which was sharp and humorous and I found myself nodding along with the commentary on the difference in treatment of women and social classes during that period and laughing at the ridiculousness of the ton in turns.
Kitty honestly didn’t start off as the most likeable character to me but I have to admire her bravery and even her relentless pursuit to ensure that her family doesn’t end up in destitution as a result of the enormous debt her parents left behind when they passed. She was at times ruthless in her behaviour and she made some seemingly heartless decisions that often made me want to give her a good hard shake but it was gratifying to watch her become more self-aware and reflect upon her actions. She would do anything to ensure her sisters have a roof over their heads, even if it meant marrying the most oblivious and narcissistic nob, and though I hated that she had to even put herself through this circus, to begin with, I really admired her shameless efforts.
James, or the mysterious Lord Radcliffe, was a bit of a tough egg to crack at first. He’s a wounded soldier who fought in Waterloo and had a volatile relationship with his father who passed away before he returned from war. He strongly reminded me of Mr Darcy, which I’m not at all mad about, and it definitely starts off as enemies-to-lovers as Radcliffe tries to thwart Kitty’s pursuit of his younger brother, Archie. One thing I love about romances is seeing the ‘hero’ be overcome with a rush of admiration and respect for the ‘heroine’ when she does something that doesn’t fit the ‘traditional mould’ and I loved seeing Radcliffe experience that and see his demeanour towards Kitty thaw throughout the read. 😍 His verbal sparring with her was so sharp and witty and I absolutely loved the way those two played off each other! Their connection grew over time but the spark of their chemistry was intense from the beginning and it really had me grinning—I really loved how Irwin steadily builds the tension between them and made them feel inevitable!
We’re also introduced to a wide cast of secondary characters in the story, namely Kitty’s main suitors, certain important members of the ton, the members of the Radcliffe family as well as Kitty’s aunt and sisters. It was fun to read about all of them and see the family dynamics play out and I loved what they added to the story.
Overall, I thought this was a wonderful debut by Irwin and I’m excited to read her next book that comes out next year—I can’t wait to find out who it’ll be about! 💜
Have you read A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting or is it on your TBR?