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Book Review: A Fine Madness by Elizabeth Essex

May 20, 2017

 

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What a charming novella! When I began reading, I thought perhaps I read the description wrong and it was actually a full-length novel. Most novellas, in my experience, move a bit too quickly and lack the meat of the story most readers crave. It can feel cramped in such a short format, and this can lead to the reader feeling like the end isn't satisfying. That was not the case with this novella! Elizabeth Essex created an engaging, romantic story that could be read in one sitting and leave the reader content.

Miss Elspeth Otis longs for adventure away from her two elderly aunts who took her in as a young child. When a trunk arrives on her birthday from an aunt she didn't know she had, she seizes the opportunity to know a world outside her quiet country village. While in London, she learns that her father once wrote a scandalous book, popular until banned due to the vulgarities within it. Prompted to rewrite it for the masses, Elspeth joins forces with Mr. Hamish Cartcart, an earl's son who has dreams of excelling in the publishing industry. Their instant attraction is obvious, but can an illegitimate daughter of a notorious author be a suitable wife for the son of an earl? 

I loved all of the characters in this book, even the aunts who were too stifling to the lovely Elspeth. Hamish and Elspeth were a great couple from the very beginning and both made me laugh many times. For a novella, I felt that it did a superb job of bonding the reader to the characters without trying to shove too much information into a short story. I would have loved to learn even more about Lady Ivers, as she was such a unique woman who gave Elspeth great encouragement and opportunities. 

I look forward to reading more books by this author! She has a gift for storytelling and creating characters a reader can feel connected to.

**I received a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

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