The Bridal Season

The Bridal Season - Connie Brockway 3-3.5 starsFun read... light, witty, banter with a twist of Cockney, musical actresses, acrobats, and con men. Oh, and a delicious, honorable gentleman who starts as a "Sir" and becomes a "Lord" (baron).Letty Potts is simply trying to escape Nick Sharpe, a con man she's fallen in with as she tried to make her way in the musical theatre. Letty is the by-blow of a viscount who wouldn't acknowledge her. Letty's mother, Veda, was a skilled seamstress, who blackmailed her way into the viscount's home anyway, as a maid and seamstress - partly, so that Letty would benefit from the schoolroom and be taught to be a lady. But when Letty was old enough to "bloom", Veda married a sweet man - a magician who came to town - and took Letty with them. Veda died not long after, and the magician lost his desire to be in show-biz. So at the ripe age of 17, Letty had to make her own way - mostly as a chorus girl in musical theatre. That is, until she met Nick Sharpe. Except Nick was too sharp for Letty; when Nick's schemes meant bilking sweet, old ladies for money they could ill-afford to part with, Letty tried to disengage herself from Nick. He wouldn't dream of letting Letty go, so he burned down her boardinghouse and all her worldly goods after making sure her name was mud in all the local theatres.Fleeing, Letty went to the train station with her little dog, Fagin, trying to decide what to do. When what should happen, but Letty came up on the very proper Lady Agatha Whyte, being proposed to by a charming Frenchman! Lady Agatha protested that she couldn't run off with the proper Frenchman - she was due in Northumberland to manage the wedding festivities of a country miss who'd landed a marquis! Without Lady Agatha, the poor miss might never wed her love, because his family already looked down their nose at the fiancee. Letty, seeing an opportunity, convinces Lady Agatha that she should take love when it comes. The Frenchman tells her to leave all her luggage and things - he'll buy her more! So Agatha drops her ticket on the platform as she swoons off into her soon-to-be husband's arms.What can Letty do? Pretending to be Lady Agatha for a day or two can't be all bad, can it? Lady Agatha certainly doesn't need her things anymore, and Letty hasn't a stitch of clothing except what's on her back. She determines to take what she can and leave quickly.Except Letty didn't count on Sir Elliot March, the local magistrate. In his early 30s, Elliot is dashingly handsome, a proper gentleman, and oh so eligible. Letty almost swoons at the sight of him, and Letty never swoons. She has almost the same effect on Elliot, and Elliot never lets his guard down - or lays his heart open.Soon, Letty finds herself becoming more and more trapped into a life as Lady Agatha. She discovers her new employer's butler is an old friend from her camp musical days, and Cabot isn't about to let her ruin the young miss's (Angela's) chances at a good wedding. So Letty and Elliot find themselves falling deeper in love (of course), while Letty tries to comport herself as Lady Agatha.It all falls down around her ears when Nick finds her and shows up, determined to take the local gentry for all he can - with Letty's help.Will Letty get the courage up to tell Elliot the truth before Nick can ruin everything? Or will she simply sneak off in the night? And what about poor Angela's wedding nuptials?---------------Enjoyable, fluffy romance with a touch of steam and lots of froth. Goodness and nobility triumph... and love wins.