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3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  237 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Ella Fairmont, as the anonymous Miss Prattle, has taken the Duke of Clare to task regularly in her gossip column. The duke, unsuspecting, includes Ella and her aunt in his week-long country houseparty. He has also included the blue-blooded Lady Honor, the strikingly beautiful Miss Sheridan, and the multi-talented Miss Prentiss. How could one “ordinary” young lady with a sh ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 239 pages
Published May 12th 1977 by Fawcett Crest (first published January 1st 1977)
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Jan 04, 2013 Mary rated it it was ok
There was something not quite natural in the characterisation of Ella Fairmont. I never really warmed to her. She's billed as a quiet, intelligent girl who becomes livelier once she is better acquainted with people. Her bookish side, Miss Prattle is a gossip columnist with non-existent journalistic integrity or skill. Hardly endearing traits in a heroine, she is the regency equivalent of a trashy celeb mag who writes, flourishes and fabricates gossip based on heresay of the loosest form and firs ...more
Marguerite Butler
Feb 21, 2013 Marguerite Butler rated it it was amazing
Before there was Lady Whistledown, there was Miss Prattle.

I never get tired of this book. Best house party regency ever.
Jul 26, 2013 QNPoohBear rated it really liked it

This is a cute take on Pride and Prejudice and Georgette Heyer's Sylvester. Ella is a heroine I can really relate to. She's shy in public like me, but sharp tongued and condemning in private. She takes some getting to know before anyone can really be friends with her. Since she's just like me, I really liked her. Others may find her snippy and just as bad as those she derides for their behavior. I liked Patrick a lot. He's a very charming, honorable gentleman who takes some getting used to. I l
Sep 06, 2010 Diana rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Would've been a 4 or 5 if not for a couple things. First of all, the heroine's dislike of the hero without ever knowing him is completely annoying and absurd. Secondly, the fact that she sends off a truly horrid, libelous gossip column based on nothing more than gossip from a jealous rival so soon that none but she could have written it is the stupidest thing I've ever read. Third, she got off way too easily, by the Duke and everyone else, for all of her columns. Especially the Duke. She was pre ...more
Jun 04, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this story - some of Joan Smith's book are great but this one was meh.

The premise of the story was good but little by little, the details started to pile up in the wrong way. Characters were calling each other by their first names, the ladies were decorating the manor for the ball - really?, costume parties with decorations and styles that were anachronistic, etc.

And does every Regency romance have to have the hero proposing, the lady refusing for some thin reason, she
Mar 30, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: regency-romance
This is the book that introduced me to the Regency genre when I was 12 or 13. My first book by Joan Smith, it spoiled me for other Regency authors. From country house parties with frog-jumping contests to London society gossip columnists, this book is well-written, witty, and pure fun!

Your basic silly regency
Simply splendid.

It is my second Regency romance by Joan Smith (my first was Imprudent Lady, here my review) but I'm on the path to become her fan. By now, I can tell that I am a fan of Georgette Heyer and Jude Morgan. I like a lot of Regency romances of other writers too, but I am not their fan.

What have we here? Of course all that should be ;-)

Witty, intelligent dialogues. Interesting, funny characters. An entertaining and engaging story. The tension between main heroes. Smith described some sc
Aug 17, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
This was my first Joan Smith book, and it certainty won't be my last. First of all I loved the writing style; it was very similar to Georgette Heyer. The characters were all great and really funny. Joan Smith had a great cast of characters with really refreshing personalities. The duke was a great hero (as I said earlier he was very similar to a hero in a Georgette Heyer book). I really liked Ella too because she is shy of him at first, and I found that really relatable. But she gradually gets m ...more
Jun 14, 2011 Charlene rated it really liked it
I liked this book. It is set in regency and the main characters, Duke Clare is a cross between Bingley and Darcy. The heroine is Ella Fairmont who is described as plain and as the story progresses you see the lively personality and wit, which reminds you of Elizabeth Bennet. And of course they do mention Ms Jane Austen and her books. The story is light and easy to read and very entertaining. I would recomend this book for pure pleasure.
Sep 06, 2011 Drava rated it really liked it
Shelves: regency-romance
4 Stars - Joan Smith is an old favorite of mine and I read this when I was in my late teens. Reading it now, it may seem like it's a decent book with fun characters and humor but don't expect sexual tension and graphic descriptions like you read currently. Maybe it's the nostalgic emotions that keeps this story close to my heart.
Christopher Parsons
Aug 18, 2009 Christopher Parsons rated it it was amazing
The instructor in my college reading interests class required all the males in the class to read a nurse romance and a regency. I can't remember the nurse romance, but I do remember how much I enjoyed reading Escapade. It's clever, the characters are memorable, and Joan Smith follows the regency formula assiduously.
Funny, biting and clever, it's a hoot to read.
Anne Glover
Sep 22, 2015 Anne Glover rated it really liked it

A slow burner, this Heyer reminiscent treat has a house party full of characters and funny scenes, plus a sweet Lizzie/Darcy like romance.

Read my full review:
Nov 06, 2010 Seema rated it really liked it
Humorous and well written with very interesting characters.
May 14, 2013 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I've read a lot of Smith's books, I think this one is my favorite. Fun banter and a great ending!
Jun 09, 2016 Donna rated it liked it
No, not Heyer, but very good Regency.
Feb 17, 2014 Bungluna rated it it was ok
Shelves: category
Could not warm up to the heroine. I found her priggish and self-righteous.
Aug 30, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
This had everything I love in romances - witty banter, plot, a fun surprise. All that said though I liked Imprudent Lady better. Read this first and then start on Imprudent Lady!
Nov 01, 2015 suzi rated it really liked it
Shelves: awesome-banter
Delightful characters especially the duchess and the heroine. And the banter was awesome.
4.60 stars - rated pg13?

One of my favorites by Joan Smith (along with Aunt Sophie's Diamonds).
Feb 18, 2013 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-kindle-books
Loved it! Witty dialogue and fun story. Reminds me a lot of Mr. Malcom's List. Totally clean, fun read.
Sep 10, 2015 P. rated it it was ok
A reasonably well told tale that you can't believe: not the duke and the tart-mouthed, soon to be shrewish, lass finding true love. Can't do it.
Bibi rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2008
Erin rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2013
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Oct 10, 2014
Meggie rated it it was ok
Oct 01, 2012
Cameron rated it liked it
Jul 28, 2016
Julie rated it it was amazing
Aug 14, 2016
AL Cottam
AL Cottam rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2017
Elizabeth Murphy
Elizabeth Murphy rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2015
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Joan Smith is a graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and the Ontario College of Education. She has taught French and English in high school and English in college. When she began writing, her interest in Jane Austen and Lord Byron led to her first choice of genre, the Regency, which she especially liked for its wit and humor.
Her favorite travel destination is England, where she res
More about Joan Smith...

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“I have the irrational habit of not listening to people who tell me what to do” 0 likes
“there is some sweet seduction in feeling another admires us—a notion so flattering that some return of esteem takes place without our quite being aware” 0 likes
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