Last Gentleman Standing is a Regency-era romance novel written by Jane Ashford. It was first published in 1980 under the title Bluestocking and appears to have been out of print for 25 years.
Elisabeth Elham is a twenty four year old schoolteacher who receives a large inheritance from an uncle she has never met. She rendezvous with two slightly younger cousins who she has also never met, and they are joined by an older cousin to serve as chaperone. This cobbled together family begins renovations on their country estate and also sets up a house in London.
Naturally, a young heiress attracts a great deal of attention, and Elisabeth is introduced to a great number of people, including several young gentlemen who are very interested in furthering their acquaintanceship. Unfortunately for them, Elisabeth has no interest in marrying anyone!
This is very much a traditional Regency story, so there are no explicit scenes. Instead, the narrative focuses on Elisabeth and her cousins’ adjustments to life in Town. There is an element of mystery, and a series of startling events; these add some suspense to the story.
I would recommend Last Gentlemen Standing. This is a fun and light book, and my only criticism would be that Elisabeth appears too forgiving after a very serious betrayal. Ashford has a very lively style of storytelling, and combined with engaging characters, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. I am looking forward to reading more of Jane Ashford’s books in the near future!
I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.