Cover Image: Scales and Sensibility

Scales and Sensibility

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

“It was a truth universally acknowledged that any young lady without a dragon was doomed to social failure.”

Scales and Sensibility has gripped me right from this very line. 
I was first drawn to this book for its title that reminded me of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Although we can find some Austen’s inspiration, this regency novel has an entire personality of its own! 
Elinor Tregarth, our main character, has lost her parents and got separated from her sisters, Rose and Harriet. She was sheltered by her aunt’s family at Hathergill Hall. But as a poor relative, she was frequently mistreated by her uncle John and her cousin Penelope, who were used to always getting what they wanted. At the beginning of the story, cousin Penelope is preparing her social début and has got a little dragon, as the most fashionable accessory for young ladies. Spoiled and unconsidered, she frightens her pet constantly and Elinor has to clean up the mess left in their wake, several times a day. 
Even with her cheer sense of practicality, Elinor is eventually pushed to her limits and leaves the estate with Sir Jessamyn, the dragon, swearing to protect him. This is when her true adventures begin! 

I loved the writing style, the banter and the slow burn (even with some hints of insta love). Elinor’s sense of justice, honesty, practicality and resourcefulness made me root for her happy ending. This was a fun, smart and entertaining reading that made me fall in love with romantic historical fantasy. 
This is the first book by Stephanie Burgis that I’ve read and she already became a favorite. I’ll be picking up more and more of her books!
Was this review helpful?
The feel of a regency romance with a fun fantasy twist.  I enjoyed this book immensely.  The very first sentence grabbed my attention and I was hooked all the way to final paragraph.  I finished this book in several sessions but in less than twenty four hours because I kept reading "just one more chapter".   Several times I was sure I knew how the story was going to progress and then it suddenly veered sideways.  An impressive feat by the author to stay true to the regency romance form while still surprising the reader.  I will both recommend this book to customers and will also read more by this author.
Was this review helpful?
This book made me warm and fuzzy inside :) I've been diving into some Jane Austen retellings lately and (shocking) none of them have been any good.  That is, until I found Scales and Sensibility.  

Scales and Sensibility is easy to digest, easy to read, and easy to love.  The dialogue is great, Benedict and Elinor make me swoon, and the MAGIC- the magic is such a cool element.  The book was close enough to Sense and Sensibility that I felt transported to Jane Austen's world, but far enough away that I couldn't exactly pin down what would happen, which is RARE for retellings!

Ultimately, this book is so cute and fun to read- the perfect standalone to recalibrate if you've been reading too many dark or overly large books.  Pick it up, you won't regret it!!
Was this review helpful?
Really fun romcom also known as "every single person tries to blackmail Elinor except for the love interest and the FANTASTIC Mr Aubrey" (who I rly hope ends up with Harriet).

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4223812658?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
Was this review helpful?
"Sensible, practical Elinor Tregarth really did plan to be the model poor relation when she moved into Hathergill Hall. She certainly never meant to kidnap her awful cousin Penelope's pet dragon. She never expected to fall in love with the shameless - but surprisingly sweet - fortune hunter who came to court Penelope. And she never dreamed that she would have to enter into an outrageous magical charade to save her younger sisters' futures.

However, even the most brilliant scholars of 1817 England still haven't ferreted out all the lurking secrets of rediscovered dragonkind...and even the most sensible of heroines can still make a reckless wish or two when she's pushed. Now Elinor will have to find out just how rash and resourceful she can be when she sets aside all common sense. Maybe, just maybe, she'll even be impractical enough to win her own true love and a happily ever after...with the unpredictable and dangerous "help" of the magical creature who has adopted her.

A frothy Regency rom-com full of pet dragons and magical misadventures, Scales and Sensibility is a full-length novel and the first in a new series of standalone romantic comedies."

I have adored Stephanie's other writing set in the Regency era and have been waiting for this new story with baited breath. You can be sure it will be featured whenever Regency Magic returns!
Was this review helpful?
Scales and Sensibility by Stephanie Burgis was a fun fantasy/romance/Austen mashup. I want a 🐉 dragon!
Was this review helpful?
A light-hearted alternate-regency romp! I loved the combination of the historical romance setting plus a bit of magic. Don't expect anything steamy. Scales and Sensibility is a sweet story about finding confidence in oneself, treating people (and animals) around you well, and of course dragons.
Was this review helpful?
** I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.** 

There are so many elements of this book that I enjoyed. The mix of historical romance with fantastical elements.  The chance for a young woman to Get a form of revenge on her horrible relatives. 
Loved the dragon and his abilities.  
However, the protagonists only meet for one day before magic interferes.  His focus on this person he knew for less than 24 hours was a little over the top. 

It is an easy read and I can see that some people will adore it.
Was this review helpful?
This was a charming read, lots of fun. The main characters were likeable, and the addition of dragons to the historical fiction setting wasn't as jarring as I feared it might be. I'll happily read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
An adorable alternate universe Regency Romance with just the right touch of magic in the form of everyone's big bad brought down to shoulder accessory scale and, well, not bad. This was the perfect long weekend read, enough strife to keep me engaged and turning the pages, but not so much that I had to simply put it down and be done. I'll be recommending it to my friends!
Was this review helpful?
Scales and Sensibility, by Stephanie Burgis, presents a fun twist to the Regency romance and fantasy romance genres. First in a Jane Austen-inspired series, this mashup was both sweet and lighthearted.

Elinor has been living with her aunt, uncle, and cousin for the last six months. A year earlier, her parents were killed in an accident, and she and her two sisters were left destitute. No relative was willing to take the three together, so each sister was sent to a different corner of Britain. Life with her relatives in their country estate is rather awful, but the last straw comes shortly before cousin Penelope's debut. Tired of being treated like a doormat and infuriated with how poorly Penelope treats her little dragon, Elinor takes the dragon and makes her grand exit. Unfortunately, she is soon bumped into a muddy ditch by oncoming carriage. She loses all the little money she has left in the world in the bottom of said ditch and would have been totally screwed if Benedict, one of the occupants of the carriage, hadn't come to her rescue.

As it turns out, Benedict was headed to her relatives home in hopes of wooing Penelope into marriage. Benedict too is destitute, his father having fallen for the same scam as Elinor's. The book's blurb bills him as a kind fortune hunter, but I think that title is a little misleading. Benedict has found himself responsible for his siblings, his little niece, and all of the estate's tenants. Marrying for money is the only way he can think to save them. He's honest with Elinor pretty much from the beginning.

Benedict, Elinor, and Benedict's friend Aubrey, a genius dragon scholar, check into the local inn for the night. After a bath and sharing supper with the two men, Elinor and her dragon retire to bed. Eleanor, unable to sleep, finds herself wishing aloud that she could be someone different. When she wakes in the morning, she discovers that something strange has happened overnight: she has taken on the appearance one of London's greatest trend setters, one Mrs De Lacey.

In this guise, she returns to her relatives' estate, and that's when the tour de force really takes off. Eleanor has her work cut out for her trying to maintain the appearance of Mrs. de Lacey, while at the same time, she's expected to help Penelope prepare for her debut and help Benedict win her spoiled cousin's hand. To complicate matters, more guests arrive, their intentions questionable. During all of this, she also realizes she's in love with Benedict.

The love she has for him and the regard he shows for the missing Elinor was the one part I had trouble with. They've only known each other for half a day at best before Elinor assumes the appearance of another woman. Sure, Benedict suspects something is off with Mrs. de Lacey, but he really doesn't spend enough time together with Elinor in either guise for me to understand how any love could possibly have blossomed. Because the book is told in the third person but entirely from Elinor's point of view, I don't have the advantage of a dual perspective to get a better sense of why Benedict is feeling what he feels. I liked the story, I like the main characters, and I adored little dragon. However, because the love was of the insta-love variety and the subsequent week was spent with Elinor wearing another woman's appearance, it was hard for me to buy in to their relationship.

Overall though, it was a cute story and I enjoyed reading it. I will definitely pick up the future novels in the series as well. Kind of hoping that Aubrey is meant for one of Elinor's sisters!

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!
Was this review helpful?
This is such a sweet and funny book. I wish there were more Historical Romance books with a paranormal/magical element. They are just so much fun. I will say the romance was a bit lacking in this story, but Sir Jessamyn makes up for it. The only other thing I would have changed is the fact that it is only written from Elinor’s perspective. I prefer it when you have the chance to see both characters' perspectives. I feel like you can connect with them better. If you’re looking for a good book that is light on romance, this is perfect! 

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Stephanie Burgis does it again, authoring another whimsical and comforting historical romantic fantasy. <i>Scales and Sensibility</i> delivers on everything you'd expect from a Fantasy-of-Manners romp through Regency-era England - gentlemen and ladies, country estates and balls, delightfully quirky characters, and a touch of magic. What a soothing and wholesome read!

Elinor Tregarth lives a miserable existence on the country estate of Lord and Lady Hathergill. Destitute after her parent's deaths, her aunt and uncle begrudgingly allow her to live with them if she attends their spoiled daughter Penelope, who is preparing for her debut. This season all the fashionable young ladies have their own pet dragon adorning their shoulders. But Elinor can no longer tolerate Penelope's ill treatment, not just to herself, but also her poor dragon Sir Jessamyn who shivers in fear whenever Penelope enters the room. Elinor runs away with Sir Jessamyn only to be pursued by her uncle for theft. Panicking over her fate, Elinor wishes she could be as strong and fearless as Mrs. De Lacey, a formidable woman in London society who would never hesitate to stand up to bullies like her Uncle and cousin. Little does she know that dragons are not merely accessories, but a powerful source of magic. With one breath of fire, Elinor is veiled in an illusion that fools just about everyone into thinking she is Mrs. De Lacey. She returns to her uncle's estate, along with two gentlemen destined for her cousin's debut - the dashing Benedict Hawkins and the quirky dragon scholar Mr. Aubrey - and the stage is set for a delightful Regency-era romantic comedy complete with society scheming, blackmail, stunning character and plot reveals, and a wholesome HEA.

The plot is driven by Elinor's attempts to hide her illusion while servants and house guests begin to guess her secret and use it against her. Blackmail abounds, striking Elinor from all angles; she is forced into a balancing act of lies and scheming to ensure her secret stays in tact to protect those she loves. Conflict also arises from the strong feelings Elinor develops for Benedict Hawkins. She begrudgingly supports his attempts to woo her awful cousin Penelope for the dowry that will save his family and estate, even as she falls more and more in love with him. While all of this transpires, Elinor is also dealing with the revelation that dragons are magical creatures! Will she ever be able to reverse the effects of Sir Jessamyn's magic?

These elements all weave together to form a truly compelling and satisfying Fantasy-of-Manners plot that will have you quickly paging through the last third of the book! The relationship between Elinor and Benedict is heart-warming and sweet, and although not the focus of the story, is adeptly formed to contribute just the right amount of romance to the plot.

My favorite part of the book was the cast of delightfully plucky characters. Burgis' characterization is magnificent; she creates an ensemble cast where each character uniquely distinct. From Sir Jessamyn's gross little burps and diarrhea, to Mr. Aubrey's eccentric, scholarly obsession with dragons, to Lady Hathergill's brutally hilarious honesty after Elinor makes her second wish, the cast of characters are the shining star of this book. The antagonists are equally well-written, and you will love to hate Penelope, Lord Hathergill, and the suspicious Mr. and Miss Armitage.

Highest of recommendations for this lovely and satisfying read!
Was this review helpful?