Today Amazon offers Minerva: The First Volume of the Six Sisters by just for $1.99.
In the first volume of Marion Chesney’s popular historical romance series, “The Six Sisters,” prudish and beautiful Minerva goes to London to woo a wealthy husband. Unfortunately, the London dandies despise her moralizing. These so-called gentlemen plan a scandalizing assault on Minerva’s virtue, backed with a wager of 50,000 pounds.
Here is a customer review on this book by Lawrance M. Bernabo:
When the Reverend Charles Armitage, a country vicar in Regency England, announces that Minerva, the eldest of his six daughters, is to have her coming-out in London, the news is not well received by the rest of the family. Mrs. Armitage has one of her Spasms (“her ultimate weapon”) and has to be brought round by burning a quantity of feathers under her nose. Annabelle, the nearest in age to Minerva, is clearly jealous, the boys are all surly, and the other girls just start off crying. But the other five daughters will all get their chance, because “Minerva” is but the first volume in The Six Sisters series by Marion Chesney.
Minerva, the eldest, is beautiful but a prude. While her mother reclines on a chaise longue coming up with new malaises and her father is off hunting instead of worrying about the dowries the girls need to be married off. But then Papa decides the boys should be sent to Eton, which requires money, and his solution is to marry Minerva off to some man with a fortune. So she is dispatched to town, where a man is walking around wearing nothing but green (Minerva is shocked), for her first season and her first target, Lady Wentwater’s nephew. It goes without saying that this match is not going to work out and that reducing marriage to an economic transaction is never going to pan out in a romance novel.
The comic irony here is that the man who is perfect for Minerva is one who has a ringside seat to her failed machinations. A common theme of Chesney’s book is that poor Minerva is scandalized by life in the big city. She is being tutored on how to act in society by an elderly relative, Lady Godolphin, but nothing will stop Minerva from making her moral superiority known to one and all. Consequently, she becomes the subject of a rather inappropriate wager among the supposed gentlemen of Regency London. Time after time, Minerva finds herself in extremely compromising situations with a certain gentleman, who has wagered 50,000 pounds of the matter, but who insists he is not the marrying kind.
Poor Minerva. A prude being seduced is going to be a tale ripe for humor and Chesney indulges in some ribaldry (I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that the word virgin escapes Minerva’s lips). The emphasis is clearly on the comedy more than the romance, and my favorite point is when Lady Godolphin demands to know a gentleman’s intentions towards Miss Armitage only to be told “You ask me my intentions, ma’am. Well, they’re the worst, damme! The very worse!” Then the guy strides away. Now, I realize that could read like something serious, but it really is pretty funny. In comparison to the obvious reference point of Jane Austen, Chesney’s offering displays a broader sense of humor, which should be enough to tell you whether or not you would find this book and this series appealing. After all, the vicar still has Annabelle, Deirdre, and three more daughters to marry off as successfully as he manages with this first one (ahem).
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