by Lex Croucher
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Pub Date 21 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 04 Apr 2023
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin
Named A Most Anticipated Romance of 2023 by Goodreads and Bookpage
"Croucher infuses this energetic Regency era friends-to-lovers sapphic romance with zany wit, joie de vivre, and a distinctive literary bent... Bookish readers who wish that Alcott’s Little Women were a bit more explicitly queer will lap this up." ––Publishers Weekly
Twenty-two-year-old aspiring writer Edith (“Eddie”) Miller and her best friend Rose have always done everything together—from climbing trees and sneaking bottles of wine, to extensive kissing practice. But Rose has started talking about marriage, and Eddie is horrified. Why can’t they continue as they always have?
Then Eddie meets charming, renowned poet Nash Nicholson––a rival of Lord Byron, if he does say so himself––and he welcomes her into his world of eccentric artists and boundary-breaking visionaries. When Eddie receives an invitation to Nash's crumbling Gothic estate in the countryside, promising inspiration (and time to finish her novel, a long-held dream), she eagerly agrees. But the pure hedonism and debauchery that ensues isn’t exactly what she had in mind, and Eddie soon finds herself torn between her complicated feelings for Rose and her equally complicated dynamic with Nash, whose increasingly bad behavior doesn’t match up to her vision for her literary hero.
Will Eddie be forced to choose between her friendship with Rose and her literary dreams––or will she be able to write her own happily ever after?
Available on NetGalley
A queer regency era love story? SAY LESS! I loved this book so so much, and it truly gave me all the romantic feelings that I need whilst reading a victorian novel. I loved the friends-to-lovers dynamic in this book, and the love triangle made sense for the story (something I often feel isn't true)!
Marketed as Booksmart meets Bridgerton and it's so much more than that. What a fun regency romp with such lovable, relatable characters and a sweet relationship at the center of it all. Eddie is infuriating and brilliant. Rose is sweet and bullheaded/ Completely in love with everything about this. Lex Croucher has a fabulous voice and such a flair for writing fun, interesting stories!
I read Lex Croucher's first novel, Reputation, and was really grateful & excited to receive the opportunity to read and review Infamous. I love regency novels, but always wish for more queer joy within them, and Infamous came through with expressions of queer love, tenderness, and a blend of adventure and tension.
Lex Croucher has once again delivered a wonderfully enjoyable period piece story! I really loved this one and loved Eddie and Rose as a pair. This story honors the diverse, queer communities that have always existed and is an ode to those whose stories have quietly existed in history, waiting to be found. I love Croucher's take on pulling the curtain to a far more debaucherous, complicated place than Regency England is often portrayed as in media. Her characters are messy and tough and good-hearted and I loved to root for them through this story, even as they made frustrating choices through the novel. Eddie had me occasionally wanting to yell at her through the pages, but I loved her character evolution and I absolutely loved the way the novel wrapped up. Highly recommend this one.
With their first novel, Reputation, Lex Croucher wrote a regency rom com that was as much about friendship as romance and told a historically detailed story with a modern voice. Infamous is a sort of spiritual sequel, with the same mood of twenty-first-century-sensibility-meets-Regency-style. In this work, however, the scope is broader and the story feels bigger than a young woman's misadventures (even though, on a literal level, that's more or less what it is). Infamous is primarily about love rather than friendship, and it's about the world: art and its importance, power and who wields it, the rules society makes and who is allowed to bend or break them.
And it's an excellent read. The main character, Eddie (short for Edith), is a sort of British Jo March - a fiery and talented writer who cares little about the opinions of others. Her best friend, Rose, is a delightful foil, and her crush, Nash, is charmingly awful; watching these two secondary characters draw out different sides of Eddie's personality is so engrossing and emotionally grounded that the Gothic background of the story feels almost comedic. It's not until we near the story's climax that we fully see what Eddie has been missing, about the world and the people she loves most, all this time.
“To everybody else, your writing will be… a commodity, or a passing curiosity. A horror. A punchline. You must love it fiercely, and take pride in it regardless.”
I absolutely loved this story. The characters were all interesting (even the unlikeable ones), the dialogue was witty, the parties were so much fun, and the whole thing was hilarious. Jane Austen would have loved these characters, and there have been FEW times I've thought that was true.
There's diversity, debauchery, the best kinds of love (romantic, friend, family), sarcasm, wit, character growth, and shenanigans. I also loved Reputation, so I'm excited to see what Lex Croucher comes up with next!
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for my Kindle copy in exchange for an honest review.
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