A fast paced but charming Regency set romance that will delight fans of other romantic novels.
Having recently been transformed into a film , Mr Malcolm’s List has certainly plenty to recommend it – despite much more the focus is being on romance rather than perhaps something a little more racier in contrast to other books and stories of this genre out there. However, there is absolutely no denying that Suzanne Allain’s book has plenty of humour, charm and romance to carry the reader through this story and is a comfortable read throughout.
Mr Malcolm is an eligible bachelor, with every singly lady looking to marry him. However, what they don’t know is that he has a list of requirements of what he is looking for in a bride – that is until one day he rejects Julia, who soon discovers through her cousin (and Mr Malcolm’s friend) Cassie that he has such a list, making her desire some revenge on him. In order to make this happen, she writes to her old school friend Selina, a 22 year old unmarried daughter of a vicar, and invites her to London to help with her scheme of making Mr Malcolm fall in love with Selina, for Selina then to reject him. Soon Selina and Mr Malcolm and thrown much together and it seems that not everything is set to go according to plan.
The story unfolds as much as you would expect and it is clear that the chemistry between the two central characters has been very well thought out and you can see why each of them are attracted to each other. Each interaction they have feels suitably romantic and even when things go wrong, you can’t help but root for them as a couple. With the other characters around them, there are a few more mixed feelings – in particular with regards to Julia. it is hard to see why her and Selina would have been friends in the first place – with Julia’s spoilt and demanding nature jarring slightly somewhat against Selina’s levelheadedness. With Julia’s character, there doesn’t seem to be enough room for her redemption before she gets her own happy ending (which if I’m being honest I don’t feel that she completely deserves). Meanwhile, it does have to be said that Cassie is a wonderfully sincere (even if he causes several mishaps throughout) character who really does his best to bring Selina and Mr Malcolm together.
Throughout it all, the writing is playful and lighthearted – this is not a book that is meant to be taken seriously and it makes it even more enjoyable to read as well as being easy to devour in one sitting (which is exactly what I did). Perhaps it is not as sophisticated as other romances that I have read, but there is still just enough conflict and twists that will keep you reading until the end (although some twists are too quickly resolved).
If you are looking for a gentle and breezy romantic novel with charm, this will most certainly be right up your street.
By Emma Clarendon