Barbara Metzger: The Primrose Path


Seventh Viscount Knowle–a war hero, a rising star in politics, a nonpareil in tonnish circles– has become a laughingstock. His legacy has gone to the dogs–literally. Primrose Cottage has been inherited by a hoard of hairy heirs under the doting care of his late aunt’s companion, Miss Angelina Armstead.

Angelina couldn’t be happier, even as lady Sophie’s toplofty nephew shamelessly tries to reason with, bribe, threaten, and kiss her (twice!), hoping to persuade her to leave. He fails, of course, fearing that he’s lost not only his inheritance but his heart as well ….

This has some really funny scenes, a delightfully absurd plot, and a lot of the love/hate tension that makes for a great Reg Rom.  The dogs steal the scenes, and there are a lot of them.

The heroine is a companion via genteel orphan and due to her loyalty to her late employer now is an heiress.  The elevation in station comes with a price tag, however, in that she must either secure homes for or care for until death a raft of dogs.  It seems Lady Sophie has made herself a one woman animal shelter with the dream of opening up a doggie orphanage.  To that end, Angelina must find the right location, hire an architect, and find a manager.  On top of her current duties of educating the local children, she also finds her hands full with Lady Sophie’s bothersome nephew.

Her nephew (rich and handsome, of course!) is seriously out of sorts by being cut out of his holding…and not because he needs the money.  Although his motives seemed pretty obvious to me from the outset, I would hate to spoil that for others…so let’s just say he is redeemed.  There is also the matter of having a single young lady living on his property when he is about to host a house party to decide whether or not to marry the very pretty, starched up young lady he has had his eye on.

Corin, Viscount Knowle, wasn’t my favorite hero…I think it has something to do with his intended fiancé and suspect motivations there.  He becomes a bit more likable toward the end, and ultimately a man made better by falling in love.

The heroine is plucky, and undergoes a well deserved transformation which helps her to continue Lady Sophie’s mission.

There are lots of funny and sweet supporting characters, and the pace is fast, funny and has a nice adherence to the traditional Regency tone that Reg Readers will enjoy.

 4.5 out of 6 Funny with a plucky heroine and lots of dogs.

Content Rating/Heat Index
Mistress talk, babies out of wedlock
Not really.
Not really.
A bit of mature subtext, but otherwise a delightful read for fans of traditional Reg Rom.

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