Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Betina Krahn’s THE LAST BACHELOR: Hilarious Victorian Romance!

Betina Krahn is a favorite author of mine with her detailed, well-crafted stories. And this is one of my favorite Victorian romances.
Set in London in 1882, a beautiful young widow, Antonia, Lady Paxton, occupies her time by saving widows and trapping gentlemen into marrying them by using their own perfidy against them. When a bachelor seeks to take a young widow's virtue--albeit a woman he's ostensibly been courting--Antonia follows them and, interrupting, forces the man to do the gentlemanly thing and marry the girl.

With 13 marriages to her credit, the men of White's club in London become concerned. They decide they must see “The Dragon Lady of Matrimonia” brought down, and what better man to do it than Remington Carr, Lord Landon? A confirmed bachelor, handsome as the devil, who advocates the vote for women and sending "surplus women" off to work to earn their keep, he is definitely against marriage. Antonia, on the other hand, believes marriage is a noble state and the salvation of many a widow.

Antonia offers Remington a wager...two weeks of women's work to change his mind about a woman's place. And if his mind isn't changed, she will do two weeks of a man's work. He accepts the wager, thinking to seduce her, but Antonia has her own plans.

Krahn had me laughing out loud when Remington put on a corset (after all, how could he do work as a woman does without having to bear the restrictive garment?). You will be amazed at the history contained in this seemingly light romance. It isn't really light at all. It's a meaningful tale of what widows suffered in Victorian times, when they were raised to be wives and mothers but were left bereft with no way to earn income.

Remington is an intelligent rake you will come to love and Antonia is a woman we would all want to know...a woman with a kind heart and a good mind who crafts devious plans to prove the damn men wrong. Even Queen Victoria supports her. Remington and Antonia are well matched and in an ironic twist will end up advocating each other's positions. The story is detailed, historically accurate and charming. I highly recommend it.

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