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The Viscount's Mystery*

Mysterious Viscount and Sibling Pact

Even though this book is called The Viscount’s Mystery, we don’t meet the viscount until after 12% of the book. Instead, we meet Charlotte and her brother. She considers herself a bluestocking who would be content to remain a spinster, but her brother wishes her to marry, and in fact, insists she does so before he weds. She is tired of her brother’s interference, so they make a pact. At the next ball, she will accept dances and discussions with a variety gentleman, and if she is good to her word, he will refrain—going forward—from mentioning her unmarried state and desires for her life. If he fails in this regard, she has the right to pick the girl he will court. She very firmly believes that she will win this. She’s out walking with a friend before this ball when they happen upon a man who is being roundly beaten by two other men. At some peril to herself, Charlotte stops the assault and brings the man back to her brother’s place for treatment. The man is mysterious, not wanting to go with her, not wanting help, and not wanting to reveal his name. He does stay there for some days under her care.

What will happen with the brother and sister’s pact? Who is this mysterious injured man? What role will he play in Charlotte’s life?

I enjoyed watching the brother’s and sister’s interactions in this story. Charlotte is very determined, much to her brother’s chagrin. Charlotte and Michael, the unknown injured man, have a feisty push-me, pull-you interaction. For her, there is definitely something intriguing about the man about whom she knows so little. Perhaps his anonymity makes her more candid than she would be in another situation.

This is the third book that I’ve read by this author. While I wasn’t so wild about one of them, I enjoyed the first one that I read and this one. In particular in this book, I enjoyed Charlotte’s character. One thing does seem strange to me. All of this author’s books that I’ve seen clearly stated on the cover that they are Regency, but inside at the start of each book, she just puts 19th century England. The Regency is a very short, very specific time in English history, from 1811 to 1820. If you’re going to be as specific as Regency on the cover, why would you be no more accurate than a hundred years’ span on the inside? I just don’t get it.

That said, I enjoyed Charlotte’s story and her pact with her brother as well as her trying to figure out the viscount’s mysteriousness and his mystery.