Sarcasm, wit, arguments, humour, dog attacks, china projectiles, and a great deal of pretending to be someone you're not for the sake of money and reputation. A gem quite unexpected.
Honestly, I started reading After a Fashion with low expectations. A fluffy romance. Moderate substance. Jen Turano managed to surprise me quite pleasantly. Her sarcastic wit was truly and unexpectedly refreshing.
Her main character, Harriet Peabody, is a headstrong hat maker with a no-nonsense, very business-like attitude. Losing her job does not bode well for her, which is something that happens no later than two chapters into the book in a very comical situation involving a dog attack and a self-righteous upper-class woman who loses all form of dignity.
The entire tale is filled with moments quite like these, some more amusing than others, some more embarrassing, but all equally entertaining. Harriet Peabody is paid a large sum of money to be a business partner to one of the wealthiest men in the country. Her job description includes dressing up and providing intelligent conversation in hopes of securing a business opportunity and increasing her employer's already enormous fortune.
A simple matter of being herself in order to acquire three thousand dollars she never imagined possible becomes suddenly not so simple the more time she spends in the company of her employer. Their inevitable tumble into a winding romance is a wonderfully intriguing and entertaining series of mishaps and events wrapped in an engaging cast of characters.
I don't often laugh aloud while reading, but this is one of those books where I simply could not help myself. Harriet Peabody is a sarcastic, headstrong young woman, and her employer, Oliver Addleshaw, is a cocky gentleman with a dangerous sense of curiosity and a perpetual need to do business. Together they make an amusing - albeit suited - pair, with a rocky start and a tumultuous plot-line to revolve around them.
Giggles and jaw-drops galore.
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