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Edie Cay
Author
A Lady's Finder
Edie Cay, author
Lady Agnes is a scandal thanks to her sister’s marriage to a prizefighter. Or rather, she should be, but as a charitable spinster-to-be, she remains firmly invisible, even to those she loves. Always dutiful, Lady Agnes should be the toast of her family, but only if she marries well. Finding the prospect of wedding a man unpalatable, Lady Agnes cannot be the social savior of her sister. Suddenly, receiving attentions from the unpredictable and surprisingly resourceful Mr. Jack Townsend, Lady Agnes finds herself believing he might love her and not her dowry. After being overlooked for so long, can she believe he cares for her, or is she a means to an end as her family insists? Jack About Town is London’s best Finder of Lost Things. What few realize is that Jack transcends the spheres of men and women, existing as both, or perhaps neither, sex. True, his most lucrative finds are pornographic artifacts for rich toffs. But now he has found Lady Agnes, a meticulous, generous, knock-down incredible lady who wears men’s boots. Best of all, Lady Agnes accepts him in his entirety—a jewel so rare that even Jack is surprised he could find it. When Jack is commissioned to steal from Lady Agnes’s cousin, can Jack find a way to prove his love and still earn the money he needs to protect himself and his home?

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot/Idea: Cay’s story is well plotted, with even pacing throughout most of the novel, which results in a very enjoyable reading experience. The final conflict does wrap up a little too quickly and neatly, taking away from the overall plausibility of the story.

Prose: Cay’s beautiful prose is expertly crafted with the perfect mix of colloquial speech and humor reminiscent of the classic British Romantic style. The sophisticated and delightful language transports the reader to nineteenth-century high society London.

Originality: Cay’s twist on a standard nineteenth-century marriage plot story is a fantastic change of pace. A Lady’s Finder explores the complex and fascinating underground movement of queer society during the 1800s. The depiction of Molly Houses gives the reader a unique look at a much overlooked aspect of history.

Character Development/Execution: Cay’s unique and interesting cast of characters subvert what is commonly associated with a marriage plot novel. Lady Agnes and Jack About Town are both complex characters that perfectly showcase the struggle of not only being queer in an unaccepting society, but also the challenges that can come from not fitting into stereotypical gender roles.

Date Submitted: August 03, 2022

Reviews
Historical Novel Society

In 1818 London, Lady Agnes has spent her entire life skirting her sister’s moods and her mother’s expectations. As the daughter of an earl, she is expected to find a prosperous match despite the fact that she does not intend to marry. She is filled with despair after pouring her attentions and affections on another woman of the ton, only to find out that she is getting married and leaving town. In her state of grief and confusion, it takes a while for her to realize that there is someone else who just might deserve her love more.

Jack About Town does not lead an ordinary life. In fact, he spends his days finding things that are missing and his nights working at the Molly house that doubles as his home. It is there he found true acceptance when his elder brother made living at home unbearable. You see, Jack About Town is living a non-binary life when such a thing is thought to be impossible. And yet, Lady Agnes, the woman his heart desires, just might accept him in all his complexity. But,

will her family feel the same way, especially after he is hired to find something thought to be in possession of her cousin?

The third installment in the When the Blood is Up series is filled with wonderfully complex characters and a twisty plot that keeps you guessing. Jack About Town is my absolute favorite romance character of all time and ends up with a very satisfying Happily-Ever-After to top it off.

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