Title: No Conventional Miss
Author: Eleanor Webster
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: 1817
Published by: Harlequin Historical
Published Date: October 1, 2015
Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
About the Story: She’s always been different…
Amaryllis Gibson is an unlikely debutante. She favors fact over fashion, cares not for “proper” conversation and is haunted by ghostly visions which could land her in the madhouse! Marriage is definitely the last thing on Rilla’s mind…
But when she’s caught in a compromising position with Viscount Wyburn, suddenly she finds herself betrothed! And worse, his powerful presence only increases her visions. By shedding light on the viscount’s past, can Rilla gain his trust and win him round to her more…unconventional traits?
My Thoughts: I loved the thickening plot and writing style of this debut author. Her story is rich with well-rounded, flawed characters. The hero and heroine are lovable, however both are hot-tempered and sarcastic. There are stories within stories in this novel, giving the reader a most satisfying experience. It didn’t feel like the first published book of an author. I’m eager to see what books follow from her pen.
Rilla Gibson is an unusual, spirited woman. Her father, educated her in plants and animals. He didn’t curb her active mind when she tried to invent necessary apparatuses to ease manual labor. She liked to protect her family, so when her father began gambling and losing large quantities of money, she tried to stop him. Eventually the very home they lived in was gambled away to Paul Lindsey, Viscount Wyburn.
Ms. Webster sets the plot giving the reader a hint of Rilla’s ‘seeing’ ability which disturbs her greatly, particularly when she is around Paul Lindsey. She must hide what is happening for fear someone will send her to Bedlam.
Lord Lockhard, ruthless, and a blackguard, manipulates innocent people. Sir George and his family are his targets.
Lady Wyburn, step-mother of Paul Linsey is rather a fun character lending some comic relief. She has decided she wants to take under her wing two young women, Rilla and Imogene and present them to Polite Society.
As Paul Lindsey and Rilla Gibson get to know each other, they find antiquities are a passion they both have. With all Rilla’s unlady, direct speaking, she, with that flaw, draws the viscount like a bee to pollen.
I really enjoyed the hints and continued tension the author produced with Rilla’s ‘moments’ which got progressively fiercer. The story ran on several levels – Sir George’s financial worries, Rilla’s concern about her father and how she would keep her family safe, Rilla’s fear that Imogene would fall for Lord Lockhard, whose character was questionable depicted as a toad or viper. Paul had issues with the death of his mother, guilt that he had not saved her, and the hatred of his father. But in the end, it was about hope and love.
There were plenty of surprises, haunted moments, sexual tension, and deplorable situations in this read which should captivate the Regency genre audience who enjoys the unexpected and paranormal. I’m ready for another book, Ms. Webster!
About the Author: Eleanor Webster has a passion for many things, the most ardent likely being shoes. But she’s also passionate about a story well told. With the help of some debutantes and viscounts and a twist of the unknown, Eleanor’s stories weave a tale of enchantment, hope, and most importantly, love. When not writing, you’ll find Eleanor dreaming of being a world traveler, reading, running, reading, hiking in the wilds of British Columbia, where she makes her home with her husband and two daughters, and – did we mention reading?
Eleanor is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology and holds an undergraduate degree in history and creative writing. She loves to use her writing to explore her fascination with the past.
Catch up with Eleanor at eleanorwebsterauthor.com, on Goodreads or twitter at https://twitter.com/ewebsterauthor