England, 1820. To gain a certain marquess’s notice, Lady Albina Beauchamp aims to win the derby. What she hadn’t planned for is the price handsome Mr. Edmund White asks in payment to train her to race: each lesson for a kiss.
A first place finish isn’t the only thing worth racing for
Lady Albina Beauchamp is in love with the Marquess of Satterfield. Unfortunately, his only interest is in horses, and doesn’t know she exists. But when the marquess confesses he will bestow his undying admiration on the jockey racing the winning horse at Emberton Derby, Albina sets out to win his affections by training to race.
Mr. Edmund White is a master groomsmen for the Earl of Amhurst in line for a viscountcy, should he abandon his passion for horses and become a respectable sheep owner. But horses are his love–until he meets Lady Albina and her silly notions of racing. When she affirms she will enter the derby with or without his assistance, Edmund not only instructs his student in racing, but seduction as well.
For Albina, a first place finish isn’t the only thing at stake. She must decide whether to take her place in society…or follow her heart and love a groom.
Review: As a fan of regency romance, I’ve read a lot of different twists and turns within the genre. In To Win a Viscount, Frances Fowlkes takes a completely different and refreshing take on a great premise.
Lady Albina loves horses, almost as much as she loves the Marquess of Satterfield. Of course, he doesn’t know she exists. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and being of the conspiring sort, she and her sisters devise a plan to win his attention and affection.
All she needs is a horse.
And her brother in law to turn a blind eye.
Naturally, hell would have to freeze over first, but one thing leads to another, giving the opportunity she needs! What she didn’t expect was an enticing groom with brilliant blue eyes and broad shoulders to be her teacher. And when one lesson leads to another type of lesson all together, her affection for the Marquess is brought into question. Is loving a groom truly worth the price?
I have to admit, at first I really didn’t like Lady Albina, mainly because I felt like she was “silly”… one of those regency heroines who has no grasp of reality. But soon you realize that she just WANTS to be noticed for something–anything. She feels like horses are her way to do that and though Satterfield is a complete ass, it makes sense that she would seek his attention because of his station.
The pacing of the story is spot on, and its one of those stories that you do feel could be rushed if it isn’t done right. I adored Edmund as our hero and I loved how he was strict with Albina. He almost forced her to grow up, though I will admit that it still felt a bit fast (the love part and how she switched between both men so suddenly, but part of that was due to the fact she never loved Satterfield in the first place).
The added “twist” towards the end with her brother and his involvement as also really exciting as a reader and added that needed layer to make this regency story go from good to great.
The characters are lively and true to their historical era. I loved the way Frances Fowkles weaves in the right amount of folly with sensibility, leading to a great tale that I couldn’t put down. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series.
My only complaint would be that the book truly could have been a bit longer but that could be because I didn’t put it down once I started it, which is just another mark in this authors favor. It’s not the best regency I’ve ever read but it’s a SOLID regency that will keep me coming back for more from this author.