The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton


Q: What book is on your nightstand right now?
The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels
India Holt
Pub date: 6/15/21
This was definitely my type of fantastical Victorian historical romance! This is the first in the Dangerous Damsels Series.
Strong trained proper women of all ages trained in all sorts of killing, pirating, etc. This is more humorous than thrilleresque. The witty banter between Miss Cecilia and Captain Lightbourne is delightful as he is hired to assassinate her but also is tasked to protect her. Which will end up happening it really depends on how they feel it seems. All the while they are flying their houses all over the country side.

This was such a fun and witty book! I really didn’t want it to end! It is non-stop, you really have to pay attention and I am not sure if I caught all the references in this book but I was definitely entertained.

Loved how feminist it was and how secondary all the men were. They really were just inconveniencing all the women all the time. I loved that the women just let them be there with all the grace and dignity of the haut ton. While also concealing knives and guns and incapacitating people.
I loved their lineage with the great Brontës and their constant need to find a library but all this subterfuge and piracy is getting in the way.

There were even some steamy scenes albeit quite proper because those stringent societal manners are hard to put aside for passion.
I wish I could speak like Cecilia but my husband would really be rolling his eyes and leaving the room… hmm unless I guised it as role play (tabling that).
Also, if you do get lost there is a lovely listing in the front of the characters and events that you can refer to if you need to be reminded who is who. There is a lot happening.
Also, can we point out the unique names of the chapters?
Instead of one title they are recaps of what will happen in the chapter. My favorite being – “10. Lord Albert and Lady Victoria— Free Wine!— A Fair-weather Friend—Cecilia Is Disarmed—Flying Fish, Wayward Spirits, Bare Arms, and Other Scandals—Cecilia Is Disrobed— A Bad Idea” It is a study in outlining.

This was definitely a unique historical romance, it was definitely for me!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you berkley romance and net galley for the e-ARC for my honest and voluntary review.


“The kind of book for which the word “rollicking” was invented.”–New York Times Book Review

One of Bustle’s Best New Books Out June 2021
A Popsugar Best Summer Read of 2021

A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.

Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.

When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.


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