Bridgerton meets Gossip Girl with a dash of Jane Austen, in Reputation, a Regency-era historical romantic comedy with a deliciously feminist twist, from a hilarious new British voice, Lex Croucher.
Abandoned by her parents, bookish and sheltered Georgiana Ellers is spending the summer with her stodgy aunt and uncle at their home in the English countryside. At a particularly dull party, she meets the enigmatic Frances Campbell, a wealthy member of the in-crowd who delights Georgiana with her disregard for so-called “polite society.”
Lonely and vulnerable, Georgiana quickly falls in with Frances and her wealthy, wild, and deeply improper friends, who introduce her to the upper echelons of Regency aristocracy, and a world of drunken debauchery, frivolous spending, and mysterious young men. One, in particular, stands out from the rest: Thomas Hawksley, who has a tendency to cross paths with Georgiana in her most embarrassing moments. Sparks fly, but Thomas seems unimpressed with the company she is keeping. And soon, Georgiana begins to wonder whether she’ll ever feel like she fits in––or if the price of entry into Frances’s gilded world will ultimately be higher than she is willing to pay.
Set against a backdrop of lavish parties, handsome men on horseback––and in a time when one’s reputation was everything––this edgy, hilarious romantic comedy explores sex, consent, belonging, and status through the eyes of an unforgettable heroine that Austen herself would have cheered for.
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Average rating from 454 members
This was such a fun and quick read! This book is pitched as Bridgerton meets Gossip Girl, and those comps could not be more accurate (I think I might have caught a few sneaky Mean Girls references, too).
I loved the author's voice, and I couldn't get enough of the banter between the protagonist Georgiana Ellers and her romantic interest Thomas Hawksley. I would have actually loved to see a lot more of their interactions, but this book is surprisingly light on the romcom elements.
There were a few characters I absolutely adored: Georgiana's aunt and uncle, as well as her sweet and loyal friend Betty Walters. And then there were some characters I didn't like so much (including Georgiana at times), but these aren't people you're really supposed to like, and reading about all their debauchery and hijinks is still enjoyable in a scandalous sort of way.
While this is a fun book, it does also get surprisingly heavy at times. I can't speak for historical accuracy, but I did like how the author drew back the curtain on all the things that are usually just hinted at in Regency-era literature.
If you enjoyed Bridgerton, check this one out. I know that If Lex Croucher ever writes another book set in this world, I'll definitely read it.
I couldn’t put it down and absolutely enjoyed every moment of this book. I loved how the main character evolved, changed and learned how to stand up for herself.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin press for a e-copy of the book for and honest opinion.
"Reputation" by Lex Croucher was such a surprising take on the Victorian Romance. She pushed the boundaries on propriety (I was properly scandalized) while also alluding to all the things we KNOW happened behind the scenes. Each character was properly flawed and I enjoyed hating the villains and cads. Sure Jane Austen would have been appalled, but this is a truly gripping work of romantic fiction that I will be recommending to many of my Victorian Romance lovers.
I loved this book so much. The witty-ness of characters, and the banter. I just loved this book. As a huge Jane Austen fan, this was my book. Only thing I don’t like. I have to wait until April 2022. I can’t wait to recommend this book!
I started this book with absolutely 0 background of the author or the potential plot. And wow was I INCREDIBLY impressed and pleased with this! From the very beginning the author paints a life and friendship reminiscent of Jane Austen's Emma, the quirky young fun energy of Anne of Green Gables, and the drama of Bridgerton. The romance is an endearing slowburn, but the real standout of this book is the friendships. I fell in love with Georgiana and her complicated relationship with Frances. The group dynamics of peer pressure and wanting to fit in were so relatable and incredibly well-written this book became an instant-recommend for me. Croucher also touches upon topics such as queerness, eating disorders, and sexual assault in a way that is relatable and caring in its craft.
*Trigger warnings for rape and sexual assault.
This book was a delightful romp. Mean Girls meets Regency England. I assumed that was just a descriptor, but finding actual quotes from the movie made me laugh out loud! I really enjoyed this book, and usually I am very strict about needing my Regency books to be well-written and was unsure about the modern-ish twist to this story but I really thought it was a breath of fresh air. I also know the author purposely showed Regency England as it was, without whitewashing, which I heartily appreciated.
this was such a fun read! i really enjoyed this one. the characters were flawless and it was just such an amazing book to read during this time. thank you so much netgalley!!!!!!
Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Reputation by Lex Croucher is a historical rom-com that is perfect for fans of Bridgerton! The story is a Regency-era romance revolving around, Georgiana Ellers, who would rather spend her time reading than socializing at parties. After meeting wealthy party girl Frances Campbell, Georgiana is taken on a whirlwind ride of money, gossip, and debauchery. She even meets a handsome man who considers going on a date with. But is all of this excess too good to be true? What dangers lie behind the shiny veneer?
Here is a hilarious excerpt from Chapter 1:
"Georgiana did not think the Burtons particularly monstrous, and due to her current and miserable lack of connections she had absolutely nowhere better to be, but it seemed rude to bring that up at the minute, so she clinked her glass against the flask and drank deeply. Frances sighed wearily, wilting against the pillar as if there were truly no agony in this world greater than enduring a below-par social occasion.
“The only consolation in all of this is that the lady of the house is truly a character. Have you seen her dress? It’s all pink satin and questionable corseting. She looks like a strawberry blancmange that somebody’s grabbed hold of and squeezed. I imagine Mr. Gadforth will have to rub her down with goose fat to slide her out of it later.”"
Overall, Reputation is an amazing historical rom-com that is perfect for fans of Bridgerton and Jane Austen! The book is fun, light-hearted, and has plenty of laughs and romance. I was particularly impressed by the author's note in the back of the book, where the author says that she included black and Indian characters in this book, because Regency-era England was actually a multicultural society. I am so happy that the author included diverse characters in her book, which is something many Regency-era romances lack. If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of historical romances, I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in April!
I've always marked the measure of a good by how it makes one as a reader feel. The fact that one can be embarrassed, giddy, sorrowful or joyed by the antics of the character in its pages. This book had all of it!
Actual rating: 4.5
The best way I can describe Reputation is Bridgerton meets Mean Girls and it really worked for me!
This story follows Georgiana, George for short, as she moves in with her aunt and uncle for a few months while her parents get settled in a new place. Really George knows that her parents just want her away.
In her new home, George meets a young woman from a high class society and George is amazed when Francis takes her under her wing. George is swept up in an entirely new world of parties, drinks, and learning all about men and the things couples do behind closed doors.
Of course, soon her new and fast life style catches up with her and she not only has to put up with her parents, but save her reputation as well.
I devoured this book! I have never read anything like this and now I'm hooked! The writing was amazing and the dialogue was so witty! I didn't know what to expect going into this book, but it surpassed anything I could ever dream up!
This is one that I will be purchasing as soon as it releases.
This book was so much fun. I just loved being drawn into this story and these characters. I want more from this author as soon as possible.
A refreshing take on a Regency tale! Mean Girls meets Bridgeton with a delightful main character, Georgiana. The small bits of epistolary-style letter writing helped move the story forward in an interesting way. The beginning was a bit slow for me, but the story picked up halfway through and kept me so enthralled that I couldn’t put it down. More on Georgiana: a witty, book-loving, somewhat socially awkward woman who reminded me much of myself, just trying to fit in and making some mistakes along the well. Well-written with a diverse cast!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this book!
This book was so entertaining! It has been called a Regency Mean Girls and I can agree with that but it is so much more. It is a discourse on class, race, friendship, family, found family, peer pressure., privilege, and patriarchy. It has conflict and romance and discourse about split infinitives.
The main character, Georgiana Ellers, is young woman of modest means who is languishing in the care of her aunt and uncle, as her parents seek a cure for her mother at the seaside. She is bored. She is lonely.
Into that boredom and loneliness and generalized ennui comes Frances Campbell, And her friends. A group of wealthy aristocrats who whisk Georgiana into their privileged world and their not so private excesses.
This is Georgiana's story; a character arc that rises and falls and shows such growth and development.
The language is lush, full of banter and repartee, the internal monologues from Georgiana incisive and at times laugh out loud funny. But there is a deep examination of what it means to be part of the "in crowd", what moral decisions are made--sometimes without deep thought--and how those reverberate, what it means to be a friend, what it takes to step back and understand the ramifications of behavior.
The story progresses with this arc in a slow and steady fashion--we see Georgiana's restlessness, the magnetic pull of Frances's set, the moments that set her on the path she takes in the book and the reckoning that comes at the end. It is subtle, the progression. I got caught up in the narrative but the story advances and pulls you deeper into the darkness that runs below the surface of this clique.
Georgiana makes mistakes. She takes risks. She indulges in behavior that is questionable, hurtful, intemperate. But she is relatable, especially in those moments when she is trying to find her place in this new world. There is vulnerability and emotional development that keeps the reader engaged in her story.
There are dark moments. There is violence, assault, drug and alcohol use but it is approached in a sensitive and nuanced manner. It is integral to the story line and handled well.
The gallery of side characters is varied and interesting. I would actually have been happy to read more about each of them but I understand that this is truly Georgiana's story.
It is so well written. The wonderful turns of phrase that are so spot on for Regency period books but also a freshness of modernity sprinkled in that makes this book even more engaging.
It pulls no punches. It goes there. And it does it very, very well.
A clever, compelling debut from a strong new talent. Croucher's prose is often laugh-out-loud funny, with distinct character voices and a distinctly contemporary perspective. This isn't for historical fiction purists, but it's a wild, satisfying ride regardless of period accuracy.