The Bluestocking on His Knee

Posted on December 19, 2012 by .

Kevin Whattling is one step away from Debtor’s Prison, and the only thing that can save him is marriage to an heiress–and fast! To that purpose, he reviews the possible candidates and, to his friends’ shock, selects Miss Eugennia Welch. They hardly seem a suitable match. After all, Kevin is a well-known Corinthian, and Eugennia is the epitome of a bluestocking–and notoriously eccentric at that. However, Kevin arrives–freely admitting his financial distress and subsequent desire to woo her–right as Eugennia is wondering what it would be like if Prince Charming showed up on her doorstep. So, what can be the harm in giving Kevin a chance? She might even learn a little something about boxing along the way.

Kevin knows he has little going for him. He has no title and no fortune. All he has is a handsome face and his consummate charm. He also has a desire to marry someone he likes, even if his situation makes a quick wedding necessary. Miss Welch–during their one dance four months earlier–left an impression. Now he must convince her that opposites can attract, and that he, despite his reputation, has more substance than the rest of the world assumes.

Unfortunately, Kevin has an enemy who will go to any length to throw a wrench in his plans. At the same time, his batch of overeager friends might be trying a little too hard to help Kevin win Eugennia over. Between the interference of George Safton and the blunders of his comerades, getting the “bluestocking on his knee” becomes complicated.

Now Kevin has to ward off his foe, reign in his pals, persuade Eugennia to marry him, and read Sense and Sensibility in a single night so he can provide intelligent commentary in her reading group! Meanwhile, Eugennia’s new passion for learning everything Corinthian is causing more and more scandal. I mean, seriously, boxing? Not the thing for a lady!

Or is it just the thing for Eugennia?

I will confess that this book is one of the ones that has been in my “to review” stack for a long time. Indeed, if I’d reviewed it right after I read it, I might have given it lower ratings. However, something about it has stuck with me. I’m not sure if it is Kevin’s utter honesty about his situation in his proposal to “Jenny,” the comedy of their efforts to learn about each other’s different worlds, or the heroine’s knock-out performance in the book’s final chapters.

I love the fact that Eugennia Welch is so very, very eccentric. She isn’t just a bluestocking because she likes books. She’s a bluestocking who puts herself out there. I mean she’s the sort of bluestocking that would invite the Egyptian expedition to have a practice dig in her own back yard. The kind who would march into Weston’s, insisting on knowing how a man’s coat is cut and observing a mortified gentleman’s fitting. How could I resist a woman that bold, curious, and unconventional?

While I am somewhat less convinced by Kevin, I found his approach to wooing refreshing. No wager. No anger at his love-interest. No sneakiness or lies. He’s upfront, and he makes every effort both to instruct . . . and to learn from a woman.  I’m not sure whether they really are a perfect match, but I enjoyed the ride and hope that the Corinthian and the Bluestocking make it together.

I remember The Bluestocking on His Knee as very chaste. Sure, Eugennia is attracted to the hero, and in his way Kevin is drawn to his “Jenny.” His attraction grows as they get to know each other, which is a pleasant change. At times, the obstacles that get in the way of their romance seem forced, but I was ready to play along.

After a couple months to think this review over and a couple of days of skimming the book again, I have decided that Regina Scott wrote a solid romance. Don’t expect sparks or sex, but do expect a quirky, charming novel. Bluestocking on His Knee is the sweet story that the title suggests, and as such, is worth reading.

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