I have been a fan of Maya Rodale and her books ever since her debut The Heir and the Spare released back in 2007. I really enjoyed her writing voice and have devoured her books ever since. Her latest series centers around a scandalous group of “Writing Girls” in 1820s Regency London. I enjoy books where the heroine isn’t afraid to buck trends and forge her own path, so Seducing Mr. Knightly, and the other books in the series, immediately appealed to me.
Seducing Mr. Knightly is the story of Annabelle Swift, one of the infamous “Writing Girls” who writes an advice column called “Dear Annabelle” for the London Weekly, and Derek Knightly, the owner and editor, whom Annabelle has loved and adored from afar ever since she met him. Unfortunately, Knightly doesn’t seem to notice she exists beyond her duties at the Weekly. Increasingly desperate to get his attention, and leave behind a miserable home situation, Annabelle takes the drastic step of asking her readers for advice on how to attract and seduce the object of her desire. In order not to tip her hand right away she refers to him as ”the Nodcock,” easily one of my favorite parts of the book. What follows is an increasingly hilarious series of escapades as Annabelle takes her readers’ advice, implements them (to varying degrees of success), and embarks on her quest to land her man.
I really liked Annabelle and related to her. She is a kind, giving, and generous person. For better or worse, she has lived her life on the sidelines, going along to get along. She bends over backwards, sometimes to her own detriment, to help others and “not cause trouble”, even if it means being stuck living with her brother and awful sister-in-law. Eventually, Annabelle decides enough is enough and works on being more assertive and learning not to settle I cheered as she went on her journey from “Old Annabelle” to “New Annabelle”, an Annabelle who isn’t afraid to ask for and go after what she wants. One hallmark of a Maya Rodale book is her heroines. They are strong, speak their minds (or learn to) and believe in themselves enough to strive for their dreams and earn their happy ending, and Annabelle becomes just that kind of heroine
After establishing a likeable heroine like Annabelle, an equally likeable hero who readers could fall in love with is needed, and Maya delivers with Knightly. Derek Knightly is handsome, hardworking, smart, and witty. His drive and ambition has helped him turn The London Weekly into a raging success read by high and low London society alike and he will protect the paper at all costs. The illegitimate son of an earl and an acclaimed London actress, he is driven by the desire of being acknowledged and recognized by his half-brother, the new Earl of Harrowby. When it appears he may achieve his goal by marrying Lady Lydia Marsden, while also securing the future of the Weekly, his life seems golden. But when he starts falling for Annabelle, and the Weekly’s future is put at risk by Lady Lydia’s vengeful brother, Knightly must decide what his heart’s true desires are and what is truly most important to him. While Knightly’s cluelessness and obliviousness at the beginning of the book, and the previous books in the series was a serious black mark against him, his eventual realization of what a treasure Annabelle and her love is, and his determination to fight for his Dear Annabelle and his beloved paper won me over. In particular, his GRAND GESTURE to Annabelle at the end melted my heart.
Seducing Mr. Knightly is a wonderful book. Maya immediately draws you into the world of the Writing Girls, and has you rooting for Annabelle and Knightly and their happy ever after. There is a lot of heart to this story, and Annabelle and Knightly’s journey is fun, flirty, sensual, intimate, and passionate. Both Annabelle and Knightly struggle with finding acceptance and yearn to find someone and someplace to belong. The fact that they find this belonging and acceptance with each other makes it all the sweeter. Love is a risk, but Annabelle and Knightly learn it is a leap of faith worth taking when you find someone you love, trust, admire, and respect.
I highly recommend Seducing Mr. Knightly. Maya’s writing is witty, charming, and fast paced. She balances humor and emotional depth with a deft touch, and her dialogue is sharp and lively. Annabelle and Knightly are sure to warm your heart, have you laughing out loud, and sigh with happiness. Maya Rodale is an auto-buy author for me, and has been from the beginning. I’m sad the Writing Girls series is over, but am looking forward to her next book and series.
FIVE OUT OF FIVE CUPS OF TEA
Seducing Mr. Knightly is the fourth and final book in Maya’s Writing Girls series. The previous books in the series are A Groom of One’s Own, A Tale of Two Lovers, The Tattooed Duke, and a novella, Three Schemes and a Scandal. But Seducing Mr. Knightly can be read as a stand alone, and you won’t be lost if you haven’t read the previous books.
GIVEAWAY!! To celebrate Maya’s new release, I will be giving one lucky commenter a copy of Seducing Mr. Knightly. Kindle or Nook version, winner’s choice. To win, comment below! Or answer this question: What is the most outrageous thing you’ve done to get the attention of a crush?
To learn more about Maya and her books, visit her website HERE