Marguerite Butler,
The Mad Hatterlys #3: Civilizing Frances
(Musa, 2011)

Every girl's first London season is nerve-wracking. For a girl raised in the country with the same pursuits and athleticism as five brothers, it's stifling. When that country girl is one of the "Mad Hatterlys," it's downright disastrous.

Used to going her own way, Frances finds herself both at war with the Duke of Ainsley, and compromised by him. The scandal must end in her marriage or her exile from society. A man of honor, Ainsley surrounds Frances with eligible suitors ... so why do they constantly seem drawn to each other?

With daggers drawn right from the start, Frances and Ainsley make a stickier pairing than in the previous Hatterly books, with Frances matching her unorthodox ways and physical prowess against the Duke's authoritative respectability. Frances acts younger than her years while Ainsley acts older. The heroine knowing from the start that the hero will have to propose to her wrenches Civilizing Frances out of the usual groove of eccentric heroines paired with eligible bachelors, with side characters twisting this into more of an ensemble story. The focus on how the main characters grow through their relationships with others, as well as each other, really brings this book to life and invites the reader to care about all these people outside of the love story.

All in all, this is a large caramel pretzel of a book, with a smoothing dose of sweet caramel bringing the expected fluffy finish to an unusually salty and bumpy romance.

book review by
Whitney Mallenby

12 October 2013

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new