I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I was not familiar with author Manda Collins when I received the opportunity to read Ready Set Rogue, which is the first book in her new series entitled Studies in Scandal. That being said, I love historical romances set during the Regency, so I was very excited to discover a new author.
Ivy Wareham is a thorough bluestocking. She has been invited to Beauchamp House at the request of the late Lady Celeste Beauchamp to spend a year conducting research in Greek poetry. Ivy is not the only young lady invited to Beauchamp House; there are four ladies in total, and each has her own preferred field of study. While none of the four women were expecting this bequest, it comes as a pleasant surprise, and everyone is looking forward an idyllic year.
There is just one problem: Lady Celeste’s nephew- Quill Beauchamp The Marquess of Kerr- has also found out about his aunt’s odd bequest and has travelled to Beauchamp House to put a stop to the madness. He is convinced that the four young bluestockings have conspired to trick his beloved aunt into leaving them the house. Quill does realize the error of his ways, but not after Ivy confides in him and tells him that Lady Celeste may have been murdered.
Naturally, as the duo begin to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Lady Celeste’s death, they begin to grow closer. However, they are perhaps a little too astute, and there may be someone lurking in the shadows who is determined to stop them before they uncover the truth.
Ready Set Rogue is a lovely book. I loved the chemistry between Quill and Ivy. It’s very natural, and it doesn’t seem forced. Despite the seriousness of a murder investigation, I loved that the book had an overall light tone, and that Collins does not shy away from poking fun at some of the stereotypical tropes of the genre that occur over the course of the novel. Speaking of the mystery portion, I thought it was very well done and I was quite surprised when the villain of the piece was finally unmasked.
I would absolutely recommend Ready Set Rogue. I especially enjoyed the secondary characters. Collins does a wonderful job of introducing the heroines of the future entries in the Studies in Scandal series. The rapport between the women was part of what made this book so fun. Lady Daphne was especially charming; she stole more than one scene with her candor, and I am just so delighted that she is scheduled to appear as the heroine of the second book- Duke with Benefits! I’m happy that I have discovered a new author, and I’m looking forward to reading more from Manda Collins!