Toast of the Town by Margaret Evans Porter

Toast of the TownToast of the Town by Margaret Evans Porter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I blame this book for piping my interest in Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and theater laws of the time. Added to that some scary ghosts that haunt the well known theater to this day.

I found myself in thralled by the dramatic of the lead characters -Trevor Cotterell, the Earl of Leafield handsome rich is use to getting what he wants, when he wants. He finds his heir has been up to no good and wants to find out what he's hiding. A plan forms when spots the very beautiful and talented Flora Campion on stage on nigh. He wants her get his heir's secrets and while having her as his new mistress. He's then shocked when Flora tells him no time and again.
Flora wishes to be a true actress, one who doesn't sell herself on stage. So when the earl tries to put her in corners in order to get his way she fights back time with weapons that the earl hasn't comes across before from women of her status- honestly and truth.

Flora and Trevor at times were not evenly matched. I found this a little bit more realistic with being just and actress she didn't have the clot behind her as an earl would. Trevor knew how to get his way and Flora usually got stuck in his plans. It doesn't mean she was without weapons or options. Her weapons were just more open then his and he had no defense against her neither did his heart.
The tension between the two was wonderful though and I couldn't wait to see how they would reach their HEA.

There was alot of tidbits that popped up when it came to class issue and marrying beneath one's self. Perhaps this was the author's way of foreshadowing a HEA for the couple, the hints may have been a tad overdone though.

Another aspect I found very fascinating was the laws that govern who was able to put on what play. One could do as many silly or funny plays but serious plays such as Hamlet were only done by Covent Garden or Drury Lane. Not to mention some of the truly bad pay wages some actors had to deal with or lack there of.

I'm glad I gave Margaret Evans Porter another chance. After her debut novel kinda fell flat for me, this made up for it!


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