25 June, 2017

A #Review of A Bachelor Establishment by Isabella Barclay

Pages -  204
Publisher -  Accent Press
Published -  June 27, 2015
Amazon Link -  Purchase Here
Genre -  Regency Romance, Satire, Mystery
Language -  clean
Sexual Content -  2/5
Narrative -  3rd P

Elinor Bascombe, widowed and tied to an impoverished estate, has learned to ask little of life. With no hope of leaving, the years have passed her by.
Lord Ryde, exiled abroad after a scandal, has returned to strip his estate and make a new start in America.
A chance encounter changes their plans, plunging Elinor and Lord Ryde into adventure and not a little peril until, finally, they are forced to confront the mystery of what happened on That Night, all those years ago.
Are they both so entangled in the riddles of the past that they are about to miss this one last opportunity for future happiness?

This was a good read.

Not a terrific read, but a good one.

And, yes, believe it or not, the 'humor' label is legitimate; neither contrived nor forced.

There were issues, though, but I'll get to them later.

This is the story of two 40-something people living on adjacent properties who 'fumble' into one another and discontent ensues.

Elinor loves to ride and cleared a hedge only to see her non-existent for the past 20-some years neighbor go tumbling into a nearby ditch.

She's the widow of a man whose younger brother killed Lord Ryde's father, or so he's always believed.

She is the widow of a man who abused her terribly, drank heavily, and gambled a majority of the estates income away, leaving Elinor to become the nearest target for his mounting rage.

Lucky for her, he died and his younger brother had run away, leaving Elinor in peace, but with a few hurdles to jump over in order to get the estates back on track and an income trickling back in for her and a small host of loyal servants.

Lord Ryde returns after 20 years away for a scandal I never quite caught in the entire novel.

I know his father didn't like him, and I know he didn't like his father, believing the man preferred Elinor's brother-in-law to him.

For whatever reason, Ryde was banished and spent 20 years traveling the continent with a faithful friend.

He returns to eek out what little is left of the estate in order to move on to America and hopefully strike it rich there, never to return to England again.

That's when the accident occurs and he's forced to confront the woman responsible for his muddy, upset state.

Later, Elinor is shot at by an unknown gunman and ends up being carried into Ryde's home by Ryde himself.

There, she convalesces in one of his many rooms while he watches in helpless awe as a caravan of servants/friends arrive to nurse dear Elinor back to health...

and to keep a very wary eye on the homeowner, who is known to be a notorious rake.

Here, the humor picks up pace with Elinor and Ryde sharing a lot of witty banter/barbs as both are not trusting of the other and both are presumptive about their respective pasts.

Elinor holds George (her brother-in-law) in very high esteem since he was there to try and protect her from his outraged and drunk older brother the night he died.

Ryde only knows that a servant saw George with his father the night the old man died, and that the safe had been ransacked.

Once Elinor is recovered enough to venture downstairs, she is greeted by a very accommodating host -- even if Ryde is beyond fed up with all of the female meddling going on under his nose.

Another shot rings out, shattering a window both Elinor and Ryde are standing in front of, and the real mystery begins.

Elinor is plump but still pretty, and Ryde is graying but still hearty and handsome.

The two slowly get to know one another, and it is Ryde who succumbs first while Elinor slowly simmers with an untouched passion for true love with a real man.

I felt that these two were wonderful together, were meant to be together from the very start, and should have been had fate stepped in a little sooner.

I enjoyed the witty banter between them, so kudos to the author for pulling it off with such success.

Even the additional characters (and there were quite a few) added flavor and balance to the story, so again, hat's off to the author for succeeding where most other's fail.

It was a pleasure to have the Romance not only Exist but also take its Natural course and grow slowly as the story unfolded.

Here's What I Didn't Like

The author's odd and never before seen use of  ( ' ) for ( " ) throughout the novel.

The misspelled and misused words that littered the story, and with the above-mentioned oddity thrown in made it very difficult to read for the first half... until I got used to it and just pretended everything was fine.


I would definitely recommend this if you are interested in Regency Romance, older couples finding true love, a bit of humor that isn't slapstick or cringe-worthy, and a mystery as well.

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