Monday, April 24, 2023

Review: The Lady Knows Best by Susanna Craig

The Lady Knows Best by Susanna Craig
Series: Goode’s Guide to Misconduct, Book 1
Publisher: Zebra
Genre: Historical Romance 
The Lady Knows Best Cover
ISBN: 9781420154795
Release Date: April 25, 2023
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Serving as the advice columnist, ‘Miss Busy B.’, for an often-subversive ladies’ magazine is the perfect outlet for Daphne Burke’s outspoken nature. But when she advises a young lady of the ton, to break off her engagement to a notorious rake, the consequences take Daphne beyond the page and into her real life.

Miles, Viscount Deveraux, sometimes known as “that devil Deveraux” needs a respectable bride by the end of the Season, and he’s bet a fortune that he can get one. Now, his fiancée has not only changed her mind—but done it publicly, in a letter to London’s most infamous magazine. With the stakes high and time short, it seems reasonable to him that the columnist responsible should come to his rescue and marry him instead.

Fortunately for Miles, Daphne is eager to escape the pressures of the London marriage mart. She agrees to a courtship. But at the end of two weeks, she intends to turn him down in a big, splashy, scandal that will ruin her reputation and set her free. There’s just one shocking wrinkle: Who knew being ruined by a rake could be so much fun?

Take one rakish viscount and pair him up with an oft-overlooked lady with a quick tongue and a quicker quill and you have The Lady Knows Best. Susanna Craig has started off her Goode’s Guide to Misconduct series with a bright and fun romp.

Daphne Burke comes from a family of exceptional people. And though she loves her siblings, she can’t quite shake the feeling that she’s the uninspiring, unimpressive Burke. Then she gets the chance to be an advice columnist for a subversive women’s magazine and Daphne feels a rush of excitement. Until her advice to break off an engagement lands her in hot water with Miles, Viscount Deveraux. “That devil, Deveraux” has wagered that he will be wed by the end of June and when he discovers Daphne is the one who advised his fiancée to cry off, he blackmails her into finding a new bride. Daphne offers up herself, much to his surprise and intrigue, but little does he know that she plans to turn the tables on him. What neither can expect is their courtship to start to feel like it could lead to something real and true.

Miles is a rake who hasn’t always made the best decisions, but he’s a charming hero. He’s got a good heart, cares for his loved ones, and is quietly vulnerable. I couldn’t resist him and honestly he was just a fun character who made it easy to fall into the story. Daphne, who has her scheme to free herself of Miles and the marriage mart, didn’t instantly win me over but I grew to like her. She’s committed to misunderstanding Miles at first but as she starts to see the real man she relaxes and became a heroine I enjoyed. She and Miles have a fun chemistry that made the pages of their story fly by.

Daphne and Miles are the heart of The Lady Knows Best but there are many supporting characters who filled out the story and added a lot of charm. Three of Daphne’s siblings are the protagonists of Craig’s Rogues and Rebels series, but you don’t have to have read those books to enjoy this one (though I am now eager to do so). Daphne’s fellow Goode girls, so to speak, are interesting future heroines I very much am looking forward to learning more about. And finally, it would be remiss of me to not mention Alastair, Miles’s best friend and a lord I absolutely cannot wait to get his happily ever after. All in all, I really enjoyed Miles and Daphne’s romance. It was bright, entertaining, engaging, sweet (with a bit of spice), and made me smile.

FTC Disclosure: 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.