by Victoria Hinshaw

January 2003
ISBN: 0-8217-7405-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

As the only child of wealthy but deceased parents, Miss Rosalind Elliott is well used to being wooed and pursued by fortune hunters of the world and this has made her very cynical. She has lost faith in true love and at the age of twenty-five considers herself firmly on the shelf. When the book opens, we see her residing with her grandmother Lady Rotherford in the spa city of Bath, which is mostly filled with the elderly who have long memories and like nothing better than to tear a person’s reputations to bits or else sit around discussing their various ailments and treatments.

One day, at the house of a portrait painter, Rosalind meets Captain Philip Chadwell, a childhood friend of hers and it brings back pleasant memories. To her own surprise, Rosalind finds herself greatly attracted to this devilish charmer! However, a long time has passed since they last met and since then Philip has gained an unsavory reputation of being a rake and a philanderer. Still, this does not deter Rosalind who finds his teasing and uncomplicated ways quite refreshing! At the same meeting they also find out that Philip’s aunt Lady Isiline and her grandmother, Lady Rotherford who were once best friends, are now bitter enemies. Rosalind knows that her grandmother secretly pines for her bosom buddy and so she draws Philip into a conspiracy to unite these two inflexible old ladies. This leads to a lot of clandestine meetings and secrecy between them and it only serves to draw them closer.

Is Rosalind doing this for her grandmother or is it just an excuse to keep meeting this dashing and dangerous man?! Things seem to be progressing satisfactorily when, through Bath gossip, Rosalind learns that Philip is virtually penniless and is on the lookout for a genteel and wealthy wife! This dashes all her hopes and leaves her feeling utterly crushed and betrayed! Is Philip really such a bad person or is Rosalind being duped? How will the entrance of another suitor affect this tense situation? Read on and find out for yourselves in Victoria Hinshaw’s latest, enchanting little regency romp!

One of the very first things that I liked about The Eligible Miss Elliott is that it is not set in London! This makes it quite a refreshing change from countless other regency novels. Hinshaw brings to life the spa city of Bath, filled to the brim with old people, phony quacks, unending gossip and ancient grudges. The author has realistically depicted Rosalind’s despair at never knowing if someone likes her for herself or her money. Philip’s frustration at being condemned due to a youthful folly is also very evident through Ms. Hinshaw’s simple yet evocative words. Victoria Hinshaw’s writing is simply delightful and the end result is sure to leave the Regency readers well pleased! The surprising ending is a bonus! Very entertaining!

Reviewed in December 2002 by Rashmi.

Read more reviews of Victoria Hinshaw books.Click Here