Published by Five Fathoms Press on October 4, 2021
Genres: Historical Fantasy
Format: Kindle or ebook
Source: the author
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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Sensible, practical Elinor Tregarth really did plan to be the model poor relation when she moved into Hathergill Hall. She certainly never meant to kidnap her awful cousin Penelope's pet dragon. She never expected to fall in love with the shameless—but surprisingly sweet—fortune hunter who came to court Penelope. And she never dreamed that she would have to enter into an outrageous magical charade to save her younger sisters' futures.
However, even the most brilliant scholars of 1817 England still haven't ferreted out all the lurking secrets of rediscovered dragonkind...and even the most sensible of heroines can still make a reckless wish or two when she's pushed. Now Elinor will have to find out just how rash and resourceful she can be when she sets aside all common sense. Maybe, just maybe, she'll even be impractical enough to win her own true love and a happily ever after...with the unpredictable and dangerous "help" of the magical creature who has adopted her.
A frothy Regency rom-com full of pet dragons and magical misadventures, Scales and Sensibility is a full-length novel and the first in a new series of standalone romantic comedies.
I received a review copy of this book from the author.
Regency Dragons and romance—just my cup of tea!
I could go on and on about how charming Scales and Sensibility is, and how much I enjoyed it, but honestly, the series title says it all: REGENCY DRAGONS!!! Seriously, Stephanie Burgis has taken two of my favorite genres—fantasy and historical romance—and added one of my favorite fantasy creatures—dragons—to create this lovely confection of a novel. I tried to read it slowly so I could savor it, but I was too eager to know what would happen next: I gave in to temptation and gulped the second half of the cup in a single swallow (so to speak.)
All the elements of a good historical rom-com are here: the good-but-poor relative mistreated by her unpleasant relatives; the kind and handsome gentleman who comes to her aid; a debut ball, societal expectations, and a series of complications and misunderstandings; and the eventual setting-of-everything-to-rights. Dragons and wishes provide a whimsical gloss of magic, whilst witty dialogue and humorous situations add sparkle to the whole. (Note: There are a few tributes to Jane Austen here and there, but it’s not a retelling.)
I loved Elinor, who is sensible and practical, but also stronger, braver, and more determined than she thinks. She is delightful! The same cannot be said of her spoiled, petulant cousin Penelope, nor of Penelope’s doting, blustering father, Sir John. On the other hand, our hero, Benedict Harper, is charming, kind, and unexpectedly perceptive, with a strong streak of responsibility and a good sense of humor. His friend, an amiable, book-obsessed dragon scholar, provides some comic moments, as does Elinor’s aunt, once she finally makes her presence felt. But it’s not all fun and games; the stakes for Elinor and Benedict are high, both seperately and together, and their happy-ever-after is far from assured–or it wouldn’t be, if this were real life rather than a romance novel.
One of my favorite characters is Sir Jessamyn, the pet dragon whose rescue from Penelope’s mistreatment proves Elinor’s undoing. I love dragons, and I’m particularly fond of friendly ones. Shy, nervous, sweet, and quite young as dragons go, Sir Jessamyn quite stole my heart, despite a certain, er… unfortunate tendency when he feels threatened. (Side note: I want fan art of Sir Jessamyn!)
If you’re in the mood for a charming, frothy, magical historical rom-com, Scales and Sensibility is the perfect choice. And if you fall in love with it as I did, there are two sequels planned, each featuring one of Elinor’s sisters… and a dragon. Of course!
Content warnings: None. Heat level: There are a few kissing scenes, but nothing explicit.
CHALLENGES: Read for COYER Seasons – Fall 2021 (scavenger hunt #21 – a book with a dragon or a castle on the cover.) NOTE: I accidentally posted this as having been read for the Summer COYER. I read it in the first few days of Octover, so it properly counts toward the Fall COYER season.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER Seasons 2021: Fall Scavenger Hunt