I think this is the first time I've read this particular regency trope (the lady disguised as a man.) I wanted to love this book, but there were things that held me back. First of all, Millicent was very quick in the beginning to consign herself to a lifetime spent imitating a man. I know it was an emergency, but it was a bit too pat for my taste.
Things picked up when Mr. North was visiting his estates and met the Duke. This was my favorite bit - the characters were delightful, and I believed in Mr. North. Once they arrive in London for the season I had mixed feelings - I enjoyed Mr. North's success (although I didn't actually find any of his funny stories funny, but that might just be me.)
I didn't like the plot thread with the rumor about Mr. North's sexuality. I know, I know - it's a historic novel, and the characters must take on the prejudice of their times, but I was really disturbed with Stoffer's reaction to the idea. He seemed almost relieved to find that Mr. North was in fact a lady instead, as though lying to him all the time was preferable to being gay.
Beth was a lovely character, and I really enjoyed seeing her growth. Her Grandmother, as the assigned villain, was a little cardboard to me. I would have liked to see her motivations a little more, because what we were given didn't make a whole lot of sense Look, I get that she's a snob, but it doesn't seem as though she has any other motivations, which I doubt. I also doubted her abuse of Beth - again, it was a little cartoony. It could have worked, but she was so
evil that I found myself a bit disbelieving.
The end is wrapped up a bit too neatly, but that's romance for you I suppose. I rate this a solid 3 stars - I had issues, but I would certainly read more by this author. She shows a lot of promise!