Book Review: The Mad Herringtons by Jane Myers Perrine

herringtonsAphrodite Herrington is the only sane one in her unusually large family — including her parents. The girls, Terpsichore and Athena, are saucy and flirtatious while the boy, Aklepios, runs away from Cambridge and loves to pull pranks.

They all converge at a house party meant to celebrate Aphrodite’s engagement. The guests include Terpsichore’s former beau, Callum McReynolds, who still loves her but is too proud to admit it, and Thomas Warwick, an acknowledged rake who starts to fall in love with Aphrodite just as her fiancé, Frederick, falls for Aphrodite’s sister Athena.

When Asklepios shows up masquerading as an Italian count, Aphrodite knows that for once her family is beyond her control. Worst of all she finds herself falling in love with Thomas.

They decide to entertain themselves and the guests by putting together a performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. And as if written by Shakespeare himself the love affairs begin to unravel

Received in ebook format from Netgalley.

For “Sane” read “well behaved”. Aphrodite is the only one out of her family, including her parents, who is able to behave according to the strict rules of the age. She doesnt get into trouble, she is on the verge of becoming betrothed to a man as safe as herself, and certainly doesnt show off in public like any other members of her family.

She is invited to a small house party by the mother of her future betrothed, to ensure that she is a match with the family. Unfortunately she finds her prospective future mother in law to be a nightmare, and her fiance Frederick does nothing to protect her from the nasty ill mannered comments coming from that quarter.

To add to this unfortunate situation, two of her sisters are not helping – her older sister is being as brazen as possible with another member of the party, and her younger sister has decided to make a play for Frederick. One of her younger brothers has decided to escape from Cambridge for a while and has joined the house party pretending to be an Italian Count.

Worst of all, Thomas Warwick – with whom Aphrodite shared a passionate kiss two years previously – is also a member of the party and is being as devilishly rakish as possible towards her and is always by her side when she thinks she least needs it.

This is a decent and novel take on the Regency Romance novel – the characters are so outrageous for the time (and the sheer number of Aphrodite’s siblings are clear evidence that her parents keep doing it well beyond all that is considered normal) that it all cant be quite right. Everyone is quite chaste however (we think), though Terpsichore and some of the other women are just a little too happy to flash their cleavage and kiss footmen behind the curtains than is perhaps appropriate.

However, away from her parents, and in the presence of those who can and cannot really behave themselves, Aprhodite learns that perhaps she cant control everything and everyone and perhaps she deserves something better than what she had planned. Frederick isnt quite the man for her she thought, and perhaps Warwick is just the man she needs.

Whilst the main focus of the book is Ditie and Warwick,  there is enough of a focus on the two other girls to keep it interesting. I *think* this is the start of a series, and there is certainly enough scope for further stories. It’s light and funny enough to keep the reader entertained and amused and looking forward to the next book in any series by this author



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