The Lady Knows Best by Susanna Craig
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Goode’s Guide to Misconduct, #1
Release Date: April 25, 2023
In a family filled with extraordinary people, Daphne Burke feels very ordinary, smart but not brilliant, pretty but not gorgeous, in short, nothing special in a family filled with exceptional. But that changes when she stumbles into a secret staff meeting for the popular periodical Mrs. Goode’s Magazine for Misses and gives her opinion of a letter sent to the publication asking for advice about the marriage her father arranged for her – Lady Stalbridge, the head of the magazine gives her a job and Miss Busy B’s advice column is born. But Daphne is not prepared for the ramifications of her advice, nor for the handsome rake whose plans she has wrecked. She will soon find herself in a unique position, blackmailed and courted by the man she still seeks to ruin.
Miles, Viscount Deveraux, is not happy to learn his betrothed has dumped him, but he is far from heartbroken, he is, however, a bit put out as now he has less than a month to find a new bride or he will lose a considerable sum to an ill-advised wager stating he would be married by the end of the June. He sets out to find a new bride, but his reputation as a rake hinders him, that is until he figures out that Miss Daphne Burke is the harbinger of his downfall. When he threatens to expose her as Miss Busy B, she agrees to help him find a new bride and even offers to marry him herself. Intrigued and feeling a bit bewitched, Miles soon decides that Daphne is the bride for him and sets out to win her. Will he succeed or will Daphne hold to her plan to bring this rake down?
What a great start to a new series! I was delighted to realize that the heroine is part of the Burke family, who were featured in a previous series, and that the reader is treated to glimpses of her sibling’s HEAs! And as delightful as Daphne and her family are, they dim next to Miles and his BBF, Alistair. It is not often that I take note of a friendship between characters in a book, but for some reason, the friendship between Miles and Alistair really touched my heart, they were just so good for each other. Not to mention we get to catch up with Lord and Lady Stalbridge as well as her stepson Viscount Manwaring. This book was just filled to the brim with secrets, plans that go awry, great secondary characters, steamyish love scenes, a mischievous cat, and a HEA that includes a very sweet epilogue. The story did feel like it dragged a bit in the middle, but the ending more than makes up for that. This is the first book in the new series, but there is a prequel novella, Nice Earls Do, that sets up the series and I would recommend reading that first as it will clear up any questions that you might have about Mrs. Goode’s Magazine for Misses. Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable read that I would be happy to recommend, and can’t wait for the next installment.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*