The Bolingbroke Chit by Lynn Messina
Series: Love Takes Root #4
Published by Potatoworks Press
Publication Date: May 29, 2015
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Earning the nickname Lady Agony was no minor achievement for Lady Agatha Bolingbroke. It required a great deal of effort to make herself so disagreeable, but she did it for a good cause: The fewer invitations she received, the more time she had to paint. Her mother, refusing to accept an unpopular daughter—or, worse, a talented one—insists on dragging her to every event of the season. To thwart her parents and to vent her frustration, Agatha creates a wicked alter ego: a caricaturist whose mocking illustrations take ruthless aim at the ridiculousness of the ton. Her most recent target is Viscount Addleson, whom she dubs Viscount Addlewit for his handsome but empty head.
Then one of Agatha’s drawings goes too far and a villain threatens to reveal her true identity if she doesn’t comply with his demands. Now she has an impossible choice—ruin herself or an innocent young lady—and to her utter amazement the only person who can help her is Lord Addleson, whose handsome head, upon closer inspection, isn’t empty at all and whose eyes are full of mischief.
Suddenly, she finds it very difficult to be disagreeable to him.
Lady Agatha Bolingbroke is an artist. That’s all she wants to be but her mother insists on dragging her to routs and balls and a plethora of other social events that she has no interest in. It’s her fourth Season and she’s had no marriage offers. Her mother is still optimistic however. Agatha, not so much. She just wants to paint. She’s very intelligent but manages to come up with the most boring conversations so that people will be less inclined to talk to her – and it works. She earns the name Lady Agony but it’s agony to talk to her.
Jonah Hamilton, Viscount Addleson is also an intelligent man. Over the years he has learned to hide his intelligence for various reasons. Because of this he is thought to be (especially by Agatha after she meets him) more of Lord Addlewit. He talks of nonsense and clothing and basically nothing of meaning. Jonah, however, manages to see Agatha. He sees beyond the façade she shows the ton and despite himself he likes what he sees.
Agatha is a caricaturist and draws what she wants (under a man’s name) – that is until she gets a letter accusing a woman on the ton of murdering her fiancé. Agatha draws and distributes a picture that she thought would only effect the woman in question but ends up raising the suspicions of society. She is horrified that she had a hand in it. She’s more horrified by the fact that the man who sent her the letter finds out her true identity if she doesn’t do another picture basically turning the knife that Agatha has already drawn. Agatha is determined to find some information that she can use against her blackmailer that will save both her reputation and the accused murderess’s. Lord Addleson figures it all out and decides to help her – and falls in love with her in the process.
This was a very cute historical novel. The first part of the book, I must say was…agony. It was slow and overly descriptive and I wasn’t sure I was going to continue reading. I’m happy I did, however because the story definitely got better.
Agatha was a heroine that I liked yet I felt sorry for her. She just wanted to do what she wanted and her mother was determined to thwart her at every turn. Her mind was constantly on painting until the blackmailer showed up – even then she turned to drawing as a form of meditation and clearing her mind.
Jonah was hilarious. I loved his sense of humor and his ability to lighten the mood with his prattle. I was happy he finally saw Agatha for the good person she was and admired his honorable choices toward her.
There were a few parts in the book that were wrapped up a little too smoothly so that as well as the start of the book brought the rating down. Overall, however, I liked the book and the writing style.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5