Summary from BN.com: Evie Nicholson is in love . . . with the past. An antiques appraiser in a London shop, Evie spins fanciful attachments to Victorian picture frames, French champagne glasses, satin evening gloves, and tattered teddy bears—regardless of their monetary value.
Alice Nicholson is in love . . . with Fraser Graham, a dashing Scotsman whom Evie secretly desires. As crisply neat and stylish as Evie is cheerfully cluttered, Alice is a professional organizer determined to pull her sister out of her comfort zone—and who presents her with an irresistible offer.
As a favor to friends of Fraser’s family, Evie jumps at the chance to appraise a Scottish castle full of artifacts and heirlooms. What could be more thrilling than roaming the halls of Kettlesheer and uncovering the McAndrews’ family treasures—and dusty secrets?
But crossing paths with moody heir Robert McAndrew has Evie assessing what she wants the most . . . and at an upcoming candlelight gala, a traditional dance will set her heart reeling.
Hester Browne is another of these authors that I've been meaning to read for a while and never got around to. Again, I really don't know why I haven't gotten around to her books because I feel like I would adore them. Well, after finishing this book, I definitely need to pick up the rest of her back list. I loved this book! I loved Evie's character and the work that she does as an antiques appraiser. As a historian and one who loves anything British, I would have loved to have been in Evie's position as she goes through all the items at the caste.
When she gets the wonderful position of going to a Scottish castle to appraise the items there, it was the ultimate dream job for her . I laughed every time she started imagining the estate back in time because that's exactly what I would have done if I was in her position. Really, what she was told about Robert's ancestors sounds just like Downton Abbey (one of the best British shows ever) and it made me feel a little giddy just imagining it. Her adventures were hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud a lot.
I really loved the romantic chemistry in this book. It's not a romance, more chick lit in how it's presented but it's so wonderful. I loved Robert's quips about how he accused Evie of being one of those Jane Austen fans. I completely understood his reasoning for why he was against being heir to the castle. It makes a lot of sense and he has good arguments for it.
My only qualm (and it's extremely tiny) is that I think the cover and title of this book do harm to the story. Yes dancing is mentioned and romance implied but other than that if you were to look at this book, you'd think it was a straight up contemporary romance when it's so much more! Also the summary makes it seem as if half the book is Alice's story but the entire book is from Evie's POV and Alice, while mentioned throughout, only makes bookend appearances.
Other than this, I simply adored this book. Browne's writing is crisp, witty and charming. I loved all the characters and I thought they were all written so I could really get to know them. I was totally rooting for Evie throughout the whole book and I was so glad at the outcome. This is a hilarious read and I think fans of Masterpiece Classic will totally relate to Evie's experiences. This is one of those books that I wish could have gone on forever. HIGHLY recommended.
Swept Off Her Feet by Hester Browne is published by Gallery Books (2011)
This review copy was provided by the publisher
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