by Catherine Blair

March 2002
ISBN: 0-8217-7229-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Georgiana Palmer has a major crush on Lord Vaughn Iverley. When she first clapped her eyes on him, she immediately thought that he was her destiny – they were fated to be together! Unfortunately, although Lord Iverley is a good friend of her brother Richard, he doesn’t even know Georgiana exists. How does one go about attracting the person that destiny has designated for you?

But Richard has unknowingly provided a clue on how Georgiana should go about captivating Iverley – if any woman wants his attention, she should be clued in to what a Corinthian like Iverley is interested, namely hunting, boxing, racing… well, you get the idea. Georgiana thus transforms herself from being bookish and shy to dashing and sporty – and guess what? It worked! Iverley has found her to be a “great gun” and realizes that there’s no other woman with whom he can converse with comfortably about his (and presumably hers as well) interests. But after some weeks in Iverley’s constant company, she begins to wonder if there’s a price to not being true to one’s self. And when she does secure his affections, Georgiana begins to wonder if she’s being fair to Iverley by capturing his attention through deceptive means.

At first, I wasn’t convinced that Georgiana wasn’t inclined to be dashing in the first place – with two older brothers (one bookish, one not) and an even sillier and flirty younger sister (think Lydia, the one who got married to Wickham in Pride and Prejudice!), it’s hard to be convinced that Georgiana was ever shy. Granted, she was a bit silly at first with her talk of Fate and destiny and she got a lot more interesting when she went from being a romantic to a practical and witty sophisticate. But her dashing self not only gets Iverley’s attentions, but a host of other men as well… which predictably creates a I-shouldn’t-touch-her-she’s-my-best-friend’s-sister-and-their-mother-has-been-really-kind-to-me-but-all-these-other-men-are-not-good-enough-for-her sort of conflict inside Iverley.

Iverley’s no slouch – he’s just such a… guy. With all the Corinthian stuff, he’s not alpha, nor is he a rake – and he’s really more cute than debonair. And it’s no less exciting to find a cute guy who’s just getting over the humiliation of being dumped by his fiancée by spending time doing sporty stuff with his good guy friends, than the average historical angry, seething regency lord. In fact, Iverley’s really a lot of fun! And it’s sweet to see him uncover his own emotions about Georgiana, whom he initially thought to be a pesky female at their first meeting.

But there’s a host of other people that made the book easy to read – namely Georgianna’s family and Iverley’s sister. They all seem to be like the people next door – except they live in the Regency period!!! Everyone is nice and fun with no evil villain to detract from Georgianna and Iverley’s romance.

I wouldn’t normally recommend a regency to be a beach read – but if you want a good, relaxing fun time under the sun, you really can’t go wrong with Catherine Blair’s The Perfect Mismatch.

Reviewed in May 2002 by Veronica.

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