The Likelihood of Lucy by Jenny Holiday

May 26, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Likelihood of Lucy by Jenny HolidayThe Likelihood of Lucy by Jenny Holiday
Series: Regency Reformers #2
Published by Entangled Publishing on May 26, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars
She would never bow to any man...

London, 1815

Trevor Bailey is on the cusp of opening the greatest hotel in London. His days as a gutter snipe are behind him, as he enjoys a life of wealth, society, and clandestine assignments as a spy in the service of the Crown. Until one tumultuous night churns up the past he'd long left behind...

Turned out by her employer for her radical beliefs, Lucy Greenleaf reaches out to the man who was once her most beloved friend. She never expected that the once-mischievous Trevor would be so handsome and gentleman-like and neither can deny the instant attraction.

But Lucy's reformer ways pose a threat to the hotel's future and his duties as a spy. Now Trevor must choose between his new life and the woman he's always loved...

Growing up, Lucy Greenleaf and Trevor Bailey were gutter rats who called the Seven Dials rookery home.  Trevor always wanted something better for his best friend, so when the opportunity presented itself to lift his friend out of the poverty-stricken hells of the Seven Dials Trevor (quite literally) pushed Lucy towards it.  Many years later, Trevor is preparing to open a brand new hotel called The Jade, a secret tribute to Lucy, when she suddenly appears on his doorstep in desperate need of help.  He offers her new employment and a place to stay as the manager of his new hotel.  Soon, they are both embroiled in a murder-mystery plot to kill a decorated military officer while fending off unyielding harassment from Lucy’s former employer and uptight hotel investors appalled at the idea of a woman managing a hotel.

Lucy is a devotee of Mary Wollstonecraft and passionately supports the ideals of a independent, working woman.  Her early adult life was spent working as a governess, which creates even more problems with Lucy’s outspoken personality.  She believes she has worked hard to get where she is and that women should be able to rise as high as the men around her.  By contrast, Trevor never fully left the idea that he was a gutter rat.  He spends most of the book believing he is unworthy of Lucy’s love and affection.  He fights his growing attraction to her, even to the point of hiding and avoiding her around the hotel.  But in the end, he recognizes that he simply can’t live without her and absolutely will not let her walk out of his life again.

I did have a few pacing issues with this book.  There are some parts that seem to drag on unnecessarily, particularly in the beginning.  Also, the dialogue was a bit stilted in some places – this is a difficult balance because on one hand I thought the dialogue was reflective of how people spoke in those times (it was certainly how they wrote letters and prose), but on the other hand the author is writing for a modern audience and needs to adapt a little (just a little bit!) to the more modern turn of phrase.

However, overall this was a very enjoyable read.  I liked the murder-mystery element and the fact that Lucy was a woman who showed great passion for a particular subject while also trying to succeed in the business world.

THE LIKELIHOOD OF LUCY is the second novel in the Regency Reformers series, but you do not need to have read the first novel to enjoy this one.

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