Book Review

‘The Spinster’s Guide to Scandalous Behavior’ by Jennifer McQuiston

tsgtsb jmcqSTORY: Free-spirited Lucy Westmore isn’t yet a spinster, although she fully intends to be. Fortunately, an eccentric aunt has left her both a diary detailing the secrets to spinsterhood and a cottage in Cornwall. Unfortunately, an insufferable marquess is angling for her prize! Turning Lord Thomas Branston down flat should be easy. So why does this man who won’t take no for an answer make Lucy’s body and soul sigh yes?

Thomas knows the real value of Heathmore Cottage, and he has no intention of letting some silly Society miss get her hands on it. He’ll simply have to charm Lucy into selling. But the clever young woman he encounters, first in London, then en route to Cornwall, stands stubbornly on her own two (quite lovely) feet. And now, Thomas can think only of sweeping her off them.

REVIEW: London – 1853

Miss Lucy Westmore lives with her parents and half-sister at Cardwell House in London. She is now age 21 and preparing for yet another season in which she does not want to partake. Lucy has decided that she wants no part of marriage and prefers to be a spinster. She likes her independence and does not want to hand over her life and her dowry to some man. When she learns that she has inherited her aunt’s cottage on a cliff in Cornwall near the town of Lizard Bay, she is delighted. Her aunt had been a spinster all of her life living in the cottage and appeared to be quite content. It is Lucy’s wish to follow in her footsteps. Edith Lucille Westmore, known as Miss E, has left several diaries to Lucy as well documenting her life in Lizard Bay.

Lord Thomas Branston, Marquess, has lived in Lizard Bay for several years. He is avoiding London as he has bad memories for him of the loss of his sister, hinted as being a suicide, along with his fiancee breaking off with him. His life in Lizard Bay has been good for him in many ways. He has stopped his drinking which had become very bad. He is also well-schooled in the flora and fauna of the area, many of which are quite rare. It is a small town with simple, easy-going, nice people about whom he truly cares. As he was a friend of Miss E, he is interested in purchasing the cottage to restore along with some surrounding grounds.

When Thomas approaches Lucy in London offering to buy the cottage, he is met with complete refusal even though his offer increases. Lucy has stated that she will live alone in the cottage herself just like her aunt. This decision is met with anger from her father which results in her running away to Cornwall. Upon arrival, she finds that the cottage is some miles from the town of Lizard Bay yet none of the townspeople will show her the way. They fear that the place is haunted.

Lucy is befriended by many of the townspeople and Thomas agrees to show her the cottage. Upon arrival and seeing the dilapidated condition of the cottage, she realizes she is completely over her head but she is stubborn and refuses help from Thomas even though she is attracted to him.

Will Lucy be able to stay in the cottage without any monies to support her? Will Thomas be able to convince Lucy that she is making a big mistake? There are some secrets about the area that are yet to be revealed and Lucy wants to find out about them.

The plot of this story was good, but I think it dragged on a bit too long. Lucy needed to be turned over someone’s knee. Her stubbornness became quite trying and she needed a serious comeuppance. However, the descriptions of the area of Cornwall were quite good and all in all I enjoyed yet another of Jennifer McQuiston’s novels. She is a very talented writer.

Connie for b2b


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