Mr Bishop and the Actress by Janet Mullany
|Mr Bishop and the Actress by Janet Mullany|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Katie Pullen|
|Summary: Upstanding Harry just cannot seem to distance himself from loose woman Sophie when their lives become irrevocably entangled. Another fun and witty regency romance from the sharp pen of Janet Mullany.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: February 2011|
|Publisher: Little Black Dress|
Strait-laced Harry Bishop has just started his new job as steward in Lord Shad's ramshackle household when he is sent off to London to sort out Shad's errant relation Charlie and his debts. Here he meets actress Sophie Wallace, Charlie's mistress, who now finds herself set adrift from her protector with only a few dresses and a rather ostentatious bed to her name.
Harry, being a decent fellow, helps Sophie move her bed and even finds her lodging in his parents' hotel before heading back to his new role with Lord Shad. But there is something about Sophie that Harry cannot quite resist however hard he tries. Soon they are thrown together indefinitely when Sophie arrives to take up the position of governess to Shad's ward Amelia, and her and Harry are caught up in a web of mayhem and misunderstandings.
Mr Bishop and the Actress is a fine follow-up to Improper Relations and can be read as a sequel of sorts as the story picks up a few years since Shad and Charlotte have married, established their household and had a family, although Mullany's focus is primarily on her new characters Harry and Sophie. These two are like chalk and cheese, and Mullany has a lot of fun with their differences, Harry being upright, decent and principled, and Sophie being rather loose, surrounded by scandal and unafraid to take what she can get.
I did like Sophie though and there are times where you do feel sorry for her and can understand how she jumps to conclusions without really thinking things through. She is admirable in that she is unafraid to go it alone when Charlie abandons her in search of a new position and cares little for the scandal that fills her past.
The story itself is great fun, easy to read, with plenty of silliness and mischief, and a large dose of Mullany's dry humour. There is plenty of dialogue enabling the story to race along at quite a speed without events feeling rushed or skimmed over. Mullany again employs a dual narrative, this time from Harry and Sophie's perspectives which works well, giving the reader a heads up on what is really going on before the characters quite realise. This is particularly good fun considering all the mayhem and misunderstandings that go on.
Again all boudoir shenanigans are left firmly behind closed doors, with Mullany revealing titbits here and there which adds to the fun and confirms this as a romance rather than some spicy bonkbuster. This may disappoint some, but for me it lends the story an air of innocence that juxtaposes nicely with the strumpet character of Sophie.
If you enjoyed Improper Relations then you are bound to enjoy Mr Bishop and the Actress. It's light-hearted, uplifting, cheeky, a delightful guilty pleasure, and a great antidote to the daily routines of our modern lives.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further Reading Suggestion: If you like the sound of this book, you may also enjoy Janet Mullany's Improper Relations or for more regency period romance try Counterfeit Kisses by Sandra Heath or The Wrong Miss Richmond by Sandra Wilson.
You can read more book reviews or buy Mr Bishop and the Actress by Janet Mullany at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Mr Bishop and the Actress by Janet Mullany at Amazon.com.
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