Book Review: The Bluestocking and the Rake by Norma Darcy

Title: The Bluestocking and the Rake

Author:  Norma Darcy
Published: 17 February 2015
Publisher: Montlake Romance 

Twitter: @LoveRegency



2014 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Romance

The Earl of Marcham has decided to put the excesses of his colorful youth firmly behind him so that he may find a wife and beget himself an heir. But a straitlaced spinster may stand in his way after she releases a morality pamphlet exposing some of his most private misdemeanors. Determined to have his revenge and teach her a much-needed lesson, the earl decides that his best course of action is to seduce her…

Miss Georgiana Blakelow has long given up the hope of marriage. Instead, she’s resigned to serving as governess to her siblings and saving the family estate from ruin. She might succeed, if only the wretch of an earl who won the estate at the gaming table would be reasonable.

As the sparks fly, and as Lord Marcham finds himself unexpectedly attracted to Miss Blakelow, she becomes even more determined to keep him at a safe distance. The closer he gets, the more likely he is to discover that his bluestocking isn’t all that she seems.


Robert “Robbie” Hockingham, the fourth Earl of Marcham has a well-earned reputation as a Rake. He is, however, growing weary of his hell raising pursuits and is looking to find a wife and start his family. On returning to his home in the country, Marcham meets his neighbour, Georgiana “Georgie” Blakelow, a bluestocking who chooses to mask her looks with ill-fitting spectacles and mourning clothes. As the story progresses, Marcham begins to see beneath Georgie’s unusual appearance to finds a woman who intrigues him. Unfortunately, Marcham’s advances are strongly rejected by Georgie as, unbeknownst to him, she is running from a decade-old secret which threatens any chance of happiness that she may find.

This is my first book by Norma Darcy and I am happy to report that I enjoyed it. The story contains the usual elements of a good regency romance (i.e. the hero, heroine, villain, intrigue, interfering families etc…) but with a more complex plot that is often found in such books. Whilst I enjoyed the element of drama and intrigue in the story line, I did find is slightly confusing at time, particularly as the book neared the end.  Whilst we knew throughout the book that Georgie was hiding from her past, the mystery seems to be revealed when Hal, Marcham’s brother, enters the scene. However, there is then another twist closer to the end of the book which almost seems to spring up slightly out of the blue. The concept was interesting, but it felt as though there was very little history or explanation given, other than a brief paragraph. The ending felt a bit ‘tacked on’.
Despite finding the plot a little bit convoluted, and even slightly ridiculous at times, I liked the style of writing and I enjoyed the interaction between the characters.
This was a enjoyable regency romance and I would be happy to read more of Norma Darcy’s books in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5

The book is available to order from Amazon UK with current prices being £3.49 for the Kindle edition or £7.64 for the paperback edition.

About the Author

Norma Darcy was born in London but grew up living by the sea after her family moved to Whitstable, Kent, when she was two. She started writing when she was sixteen, but it wasn’t until many years later that she began to write seriously. A graphic designer by trade, she has always dreamed of earning a living from writing. She now lives in Kent with her husband.

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