Victoria Alexander might be the queen of historical romance. The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen is entertaining, fun and an easy "I can't wait to get to the next page, never mind dinner or laundry or work, I just need to read another chapter" sort of way, while still being well-researched and authentic to the time period. Ms. Alexander's voice was straight out of 1889 England and she writes each of her very different characters with ease and authenticity.
In the book, India Prendergast believes something terrible has happened to the cousin who raised her after her cousin Heloise stops sending her letters from her quickly planned trip around Europe. She tried contacting the Lady Travelers Society, who for a fee helps educate ladies about travel and arrange their itineraries. After India's letters to the society are ignored and she received no help from the police, she goes to the society in person to get some answers. It is there that she overhears Derek Saunders discussed Heloise with the three elderly ladies who run the society. She becomes convinced that the society is a front for duping ladies out of their money and that Derek is the mastermind.
Derek, meanwhile, is at the Lady Travelers Society in an attempt to keep his aunt, one of the three ladies who runs the society, out of trouble. In an effort to protect his aunt - who cannot actually provide the services the society claims to offer, but needs the income - Derek decides to search Europe himself for Heloise.
India informs him that she intends to accompany him on the trip and the two set out for Paris (with two upstanding and very amusing characters as chaperones, of course).
The plot unfolds from their in such a fun way that I couldn't put the book down and suspect nobody else will be able to either. It was a whimsical adventure and the perfect book to take to the beach (although I must warn you that you might get so lost in the story that you miss everything the beach has to offer!).
On more thing worth noting: I read a few other reviews that mentioned the characters are annoying or unlikable. I have to disagree. While the main characters do have some personality quirks that are less than pleasant, they are written in such a way that you can't help but like them for their flaws. And as they grow throughout the book and more of their motivations are revealed, the reader grows to like them even more. Those flaws also served to set the tone for the relationship between the main characters, which becomes a lighthearted bit of fun in the book. I have read some books with truly horrible characters that make me feel like I need to go out and punch the world, but these characters are definitely not that. They are flawed, yes, but with a purpose and the ability to grow.
I recommend The Lady Travels Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen wholeheartedly.
*I was provided with an ARC by the author and her publisher for review purposes, however all reviews are my honest opinion of the book*
India Pendergast is always right, she is very organized and everything and everyone follows her plans until the day her cousin embarks on a journey to Paris and disappears. Derek Saunders has been keeping an eye on his great aunt on behalf of his mother, when he and India come to loggerheads over her missing cousin. A journey to Paris during the exposition ensues and much enjoyment is derived from reading about their clashes as they search for India's cousin. Victoria Alexander once again writes a story full of wonderful characters, lots of laughs and so I will forgive her for killing Henry and not writing a HEA for Edward.