** I haven't felt much like reviewing lately, and am not sure yet whether this is a temporary slump or whether nearly 6 years of it is enough and I need a new hobby. What with all the terrible author behavior lately it is starting to seem like a thankless task, though in my case, life circumstances also have a lot to do with it. At any rate, what you are seeing from me now and will probably continue to see for awhile are short reviews dashed off in spare moments. Sorry, all. **
When I started this book, it was simply great fun. Sophy is the kind of heroine we'd all like to be - clever, daring, charismatic and utterly imperturbable - and therefore immediately endearing and fun to read about. And the Regency setting feels authentic, even when characters act in ways Jane Austen's creations would never have imagined.
As the book dragged on, though, it lost its sparkle. Some of Sophy's escapades (such as the confrontation with the stereotypical filthy Jewish moneylender - ack!) seem over-the-top, and the romance underwhelms. Sophy and her love interest remain in the same holding pattern - she is charmingly outrageous and independent-minded, regularly reducing him to sputtering indignation, to her own amusement and that of the readers - for almost the entire book, without giving much impression of passion between them. Meanwhile the dialogue is overloaded with exclamation points, which become no more than visual pokes in the eye when they appear after 80% of the characters' utterances.
Overall, probably a fun book for those who love Regency period novels, but after a promising start it proved not quite as charming as I'd anticipated. Devoted romance readers may feel differently.