An Unsuitable Engagement (Victorian Grand Tour Book 5)

Lisa H.

When Lady Octavia Shelford and her mother arrive in France to visit long-time family friend Guy Claybury, the Duke of Woodford as well as the British ambassador in Paris, tensions are high. Behaviors that were acceptable when Octavia was a child are no longer proper for a lady of her age and station in 1858. But can the pair overcome the habit of years of friendship? The pair’s mothers believe they will come out the other side engaged. However, Guy doubts Octavia is mature enough to be a Duchess due to her outspoken nature and flirtatious behavior. And former friend of Octavia’s is also visiting France and pursuing Guy as well.

Lisa H. Catmull weaves a compelling “opposites attract” romance that will tug at readers’ heartstrings. While Ms. Catmull’s opening scene’s hot and cold nature may initially make life-long friends seem like enemies instead, any confusion is quickly cleared up as the story gives time for the relationship to blossom and grow. Both Octavia and Guy have deep inner lives, and well-developed and unique personalities. Likewise, side characters are equally lovable although perhaps lacking the same level of depth. The British Embassy in France being the setting is unique for work set in this time period. Ms. Catmull’s grasp of writing skills is strong, as is her world building. The conflict is reasonable, though a bit repetitive at times. Though the repetition is a little tedious, it all makes sense in the end in a “straw that broke the camel’s back” sort of way.  “An Unsuitable Engagement” is the perfect read for fans of friends to lovers, as well as historical romance.

Shailyn Rogers