Goats, mustaches, and singing highwaymen. That’s an odd combination for Valentine’s, but somehow it works in Anya Wylde’s new whimsical, madcap regency book, Penelope. The book cover sets the tone with these words:
“It is monstrously unfair that whenever a girl needs her wits about her, she goes and does something completely idiotic. Penelope was that sort of girl.”
If you like witty words, funny twists and lighthearted romances, this book is a great one to keep in mind for the month of love. You can’t top goats, unless you buy your beloved a burial plot (see Dianne’s blog).
Miss Penelope Fairweather is a country bumpkin who has been invited by her dead mother’s best friend, the dowager of Blackthorne, to come to London to have a season with the ton and hopefully find a husband. Right from the start, you get a good dousing of this girl’s eccentricities. She brings her pet goat, Lady Bathsheba, who always gets her into trouble. She is accident prone, prattles when she gets nervous, and earns the wrath of her host, the Duke of Blackthorne, within seconds of meeting him. The Duke’s character is one that is easy to love/hate; he can be a jerk at times, but then will go and do something nice and confuse me (and Penelope too; poor girl). It was a fun confusion though.
The side characters are delightful. There is the duke’s idiosyncratic grandfather who believes a man is to be judged on his mustache alone, the goat who eats men’s underthings (can’t get more romantic than that!), a quirky highwayman who calls his wife apple dumpling, Lord Boying (that rhymes with Annoying), and the most unique and charming character of all, Madame Bellafraunde.
To sum it up best, I’d compare this story to a good blend of hot cocoa (crazy charming characters), Andes mints (delightful word play), and chocolate chips (wit) all stirred together to perfection. I inhaled this Valentine treat (goats, mustaches and all) and left my troubles and stresses behind for a little while. Yummy!
Cheers to this witty Irish writer—Anya Wylde. She’s made me laugh again, and maybe she can make you laugh too. Leave a comment and she’ll pick 2 lucky people to win a free eBook of Penelope. Happy Valentine’s Day!