It’s rare for a Regency Romance to really surprise me. I say with profound love of the subgenre that most of the books out there are all quite similar to each other. The settings, the people, their problems and character arcs are all as expected and familiar as comfortable shoes and their happily ever after. “Sweet Disorder” though, not only had unexpectedly three-dimensional characters who have real problems with no easy answers, but the drama is set with unusual stakes for a romance: votes. The book is set in the small town of St. Lemeston during a county election where the difference of one or two votes could decide whether the Torys stay in power, or whether they will be overthrown by the opposition. Mrs. Sparks (by dint of an obscure town charter rule) has the power to decide the election based on which party will pay the most to find her a suitable husband, made increasingly complicated as she begins to fall in love with the man brokered to match her up with said suitable husband. It’s a delightful and new premise that is played out to full advantage as the politics of the town, the dramas of everyone involved, and Mrs. Sparks opening heart all come together in overlapping disharmony. It’s an excited and unexpectedly charming and fun read, and the sex scenes are plentiful and perfect. Highly recommended.
5-star quick review: Sweet Disorder (Rose Lerner)