5 star, adult

ARC Review: A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin

A whip-smart debut that follows the adventures of an entirely unconventional heroine who throws herself into the London Season to find a wealthy husband. But the last thing she expects is to find love…

Kitty Talbot needs a fortune. Or rather, she needs a husband who has a fortune. Left with her father’s massive debts, she has only twelve weeks to save her family from ruin.

Kitty has never been one to back down from a challenge, so she leaves home and heads toward the most dangerous battleground in all of England: the London season. 

Kitty may be neither accomplished nor especially genteel—but she is utterly single-minded; imbued with cunning and ingenuity, she knows that risk is just part of the game. 

The only thing she doesn’t anticipate is Lord Radcliffe. The worldly Radcliffe sees Kitty for the mercenary fortune-hunter that she really is and is determined to scotch her plans at all costs, until their parrying takes a completely different turn…

This is a frothy pleasure, full of brilliant repartee and enticing wit—one that readers will find an irresistible delight.

**A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting comes out July 12, 2022**

Thank you Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Witty and filled with charming banter between our love interests, A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting was unputdownable and had me smiling and cheering all the way through.

If you love period pieces or in general a fan of writing in the Regency era, look no further! I loved the way the author wrote because it felt like transporting back in time. It wasn’t written in a contemporary style and often used words that were definitely more common in that time period than today. Don’t you just hate it when the book is meant to be of another time but the language itself and the conversations don’t really reflect that? It felt like Jane Austen could’ve written this and I absolutely ADORED that.

The story follows Kitty Talbot, the oldest of 5 girls, who is left to fight for her family with the massive debt her parents left behind after their passing. Putting on charm like armor and utilizing a mind that could strategize like the best of the men, she set to work to offer herself up as a wife to the richest men London society could offer. If only she could pave the way of making their acquaintance.

I loved Kitty’s tenacity and her wit. It takes a lot to go from unnoticed naive girls setting foot in London for the first time to becoming established in Society (yes, with the capital S) well enough to please not only the men she’s trying to catch but also the mothers who must give their blessing to such a union. She often times had to give up her own wants and happiness to provide a better future for her younger sisters and that made me feel for her all the more.

However, her character is very much challenged, especially when going toe to toe with Lord Radcliffe who immediately catches onto her plan. He was the best kind of love interest, total Darcy material if I do say so myself. Initially cold and overprotective of his family, he and Kitty butt heads from their very first meeting. But the slow burn of their ensuing partnership – or I suppose blackmailed allyship – that turns these enemies to lovers was the very best this trope can offer.

Their dialogue was some of my favorite things in the book. They both have such sarcastic and sharp tongues when they let their guards down and allow someone to truly see them. Underneath all the armor and glam shown to the rich and the privileged, these two didn’t truly fit into the rules and the scheming the Society was known for. Together, however, something magical happens and watching the slow transition in their relationship was the absolute best. As character development goes, they each challenged the other to become more of who they wanted to be, not the version they showed the world or the comfortable rut they did not want to leave. If that’s not what a great relationship does, then I don’t know anything about love.

The secondary characters were also fabulous. We only get to know one of Kitty’s sisters well as Cecily travelled to London with Kitty to help her find a wealthy husband. I would’ve loved to read more about Cecily and her own experiences among the ton as she’s more bookish and distracted by intellectual ideas more than what’s going on right in front of her. Although she wasn’t looking for it, I was super glad to see romance was in the cards for her too. It’s a shame we don’t get to see more.

With so much to offer transporting us back to such historical times filled with lovable characters to root for, A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting is something surely everyone should look out for as a next read.

Overall Recommendation:

If you’re looking for a great Regency story with the best slow burn romance, A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting is YOUR book! From a smart protagonist to a totally swoon worthy love interest, the romance is worth rooting. I appreciated the author writing in a style with vocabulary that transported me back to the 1800s as that added an extra layer of authenticity to this world. A great debut that will surely bring me back to anything Sophie Irwin publishes next.


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