A Rather Curious Engagement

C.A. Belmond
2008, Chick Lit
NAL, $14.00, 384 pages, Amazon ASIN 0451224051
Part of a series

Grade: B
Sensuality: Kisses

A Rather Curious Engagement picks up where A Rather Lovely Inheritance left off by following the further adventures of Penny and Jeremy, with stops in the French Riviera, London, Lake Como, and Corsica. While I didn't enjoy this quite as much as the first book, I found it to be an enjoyable read in a Girl Sleuth meets Chick Lit vein.

Penny is easing into her new life as an heiress. She and Jeremy have decided to pool their inheritances and start a business that will make use of Jeremy's experience as an international lawyer and Penny's as an historical researcher. They've also decided to allow themselves at least one indulgence and first on Jeremy's list is a 1920s yacht with a mysterious past.

The book has the feel of a Nancy Drew mystery, with Nancy grown up and travelling around Europe with a wonderful man. Penny and Jeremy encounter mysteries similar to those solved by Nancy a missing yacht, a missing artifact, but no dead bodies.

In addition to the mysteries, the book also explores what happens after the HEA as Penny and Jeremy settle into their new life. Although not married or even officially engaged it's clear they're headed in that direction. Complicating their lives is an appearance by Jeremy's beautiful (and according to Penny, "batty") ex-wife, as well as some of Jeremy's friends.

I like both Penny and Jeremy. They're nice people and true romantics with a love of history. Penny has a zest for life, taking pleasure in such simple things as going for a swim and shopping in a country market. More importantly, she truly values spending time with Jeremy. The book is told solely from Penny's point of view, so everything we know about Jeremy is from her perspective.

The author vividly describes each of the places to which Penny and Jeremy travel. I could almost imagine myself riding along with them on the coast of France and picnicking in Lake Como.

I had a few minor niggles with the book that kept it from being a DIK. I found some of the history of the missing artifact rather dull. I also thought that Jeremy was a bit dense at times regarding his ex-wife's intentions though I appreciated that he always stayed loyal to Penny. I have no doubts about the depth of Penny and Jeremy's love.

If you're looking for spine-tingling suspense and lots of sex, this isn't the book for you. Although Penny and Jeremy share a bed, there are no descriptions of what they do once they're there. However, if you enjoy light romance and were ever a fan of girl sleuths, you may enjoy this as much as I did.

-- LinnieGayl Kimmel

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