Title: La Petite Four
Author: Regina Scott
Razor Bill, July 2008
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Romance
Recommended to: Readers 12 years old and up
Lady Emily Southwell and her three best friends Priscilla Tate and Ariadne and Daphne Courdebas (aka "La Petite Four") can take on anything together, whether it's an annoying classmate, an unfortunate outfit, or planning the event of the season. But when Emily is unwillingly engaged to the handsome Lord Robert pre-London Season instead of pursuing her dream of becoming a famous artist, she knows she's got to get out of it someway, so that she can attend Priscilla's coming-out Ball that could be the party of the year and follow her dream of painting--but how? La Petite Four hatch an investigation, following Lord Robert all over London to expose his dark side that could possibly break the engagement and save Emily from a terrible future....But when Emily meets a mysterious-yet-handsome man on Lord Robert's trail, she realizes that she really has to get out of marrying him...
My thoughts: I really liked this one, from the glamorous balls to the suspense to the great characters! I loved Lady Emily's group of friends: the flirtacious Priscilla, scholarly Ariadne and energetic Daphne just simply boosted the plot and made it more fun. James was so lovable, while at the same time I hated the smarmy Lord Robert right from the start. They were all so realistic and strongly described, all with their own little quirks (accents, personality, etc) that made it so fun to read!
Ms. Scott writes beautifully, with great descriptions, flowing dialogue, and a quickly-moving plot that really gets you flipping the pages towards the end.
At some parts, I was a bit confused regarding all the twists and turns of the story, sometimes not making sense to me. My other problem was the climax: there was a ton of rising action, and then the climax was so short and kind of disappointing and obvious, with no real action and falling resolutions. The ending was a little too rushed and la-dee-dah happy ending-ish.
I have to hand it to Ms. Scott: Now I'm dying to read more books on the 180os "Season"! It's a good thing, because both Marissa Doyle's Bewitching Season and Sarah McLean's The Season are on my shelf! Yay! (:
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at La Petite Four. I couldn't stop reading, the plot was super-addicting towards the ends, and I particularly enjoyed the Lord Robert-stalking scenes--I loved how bold and smart Lady Emily and her friends were while at the same time not being stuffy and boring. Nicely done, Ms. Scott!