Ladies, this book is wonderful and hilarious. It is a choose your own romance (in the style of "Choose-your-own-adventure" books). I'll be honest. I never read a choose your own adventure, that I really recall. Maybe once... like an R.L. Stine, one or something. But the concept fascinates me. I love the idea of meandering through pages and working with the author to tell a story. I had an idea once for a choose your own adventure YA road trip book. Those characters still bother me on occasion. Anyway.
Similar to Petronella I first saw this on a friend's instagram and died laughing. When I shared it with my friend Jenn she thought I'd bought it for myself and ruined her present for me. I hadn't bought it, so she sent me my birthday present very early. And we proceeded to read them together.
Now, I get that the point of a choose your own adventure is that you pick the plot and you stick with it. But I don't like arbitrary rules. So I read each of the main plots til they basically stopped, and then I went through and read every page to see all of the potential outcomes.
This book is like the who's who of Regency Era and Gothic Lit. There's a Jane Eyre type storyline, a Pride and Prejudice type story, and for the more modern romance reader an Outlander style Scottish Highlander, and to keep this from being strictly hetero, a sapphic romance set to a sort of Indiana Jones type adventure in Egypt.
You start your romance adventure by attending a ball (as a lady in the 1700s was expected to do) with your dowager employer (who is bitter and very mean). At the ball, you meet several of the potential suitors, all of them offer an opportunity to get away from your terrible employer.
To be expected with any titillating romance novel there are some sexy scenes. They are primarily hilarious. What's particularly fun is that aside from the four main love interests you, as the Regency-era version of yourself, get to encounter many possible would-be lovers in each storyline. Including a rakish cad, a very eager vicar, an Egyptian bandit, the madame of a brothel, a libidinous farmer, and even more.
There are werewolves and ghosts, assassins and thieves, mysterious Egyptian temples, endless horse, carriage, and buggy rides. One memorable boat ride. Fires and Scottish curses. There is a little bit of any and everything.
I had a grand ol' time reading this hilarious book. I think it satirizes the original forms well and provides a good sense of diversion. It was fun to try out the different storylines, even if how I did it is considered cheating. If you enjoy a good bodice ripper romance novel this one will probably make you laugh more than any that you've read. And when you're done let's chat. It's hilarious.