She did not know how long she slowly circled the small pond just to the right of the house, her lilac skirts brushing against the low rock wall that kept the water in place. In that idyllic scene, she lost herself in a story far more interesting than anything she would ever experience.
The last thing Maria expects is to be rescued by a charming dog—and an even more charming gentleman.
Thoughts & Feelings
Maria's Perfect Gentleman stands out a bit in this anthology because our leading lady, Maria, is very different from the other ladies I have encountered so far. Maria is a complete and utter bookworm and prefers the quiet of the library to the excitement of the ballroom.
I love that Penny Fairbanks gave us a glimpse into the love story of someone who isn't so stunningly beautiful that their quirks or bluestockingness can be easily overlooked by society. Being an avid bookworm myself, it was fun to have a character that I could relate so much to. And I loved that books and libraries had a front seat throughout the story! Yay for books!
One of my favorite moments of the story was when Maria realizes that Lord Driscoll spends some of his time reading.
Before she could apologize for that, Lord Driscoll's other comment, buried beneath his offer, clicked into place in Maria's mind.
"Pardon me, but did you say it was a marvelous book? Have you read it, by chance?" she asked.
I love that we get that magical moment when you realizes someone has read and enjoyed a book that you also enjoy.
I also loved that we get to see Lord Driscoll and Maria together so much, due to their both being at the same house party. Both characters slowly open up to one another and I loved seeing the small give and takes from both sides.
It is such a sweet and easy to read novella.
Content & Trigger Warnings
Title: Maria's Perfect Gentleman
Series: Horses, Hounds, & Happily Ever After Vol. 1 anthology
Author: Penny Fairbanks
No longer in print