Lady Jane Fielding and her husband, Lord Jacob, have always enjoyed each other's company, inside and outside of the bedroom, until one fateful day when Lord Jacob gets injured by horse in a manner that means he may no longer be able to sire children. Though they have two daughters Lady Jane and Lord Jacob have yet to have the son that they need in order to keep Jacob's brother, Arthur, from inheriting, and so Jacob comes up with a plan. He invites his cousin Matthew to stay with the view that he will sire a son for the two of them, but his arrival awakens something in Jane that she isn't sure she's ready to admit...
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I've read two previous books by Portman that were both set in the era (and with characters that are mentioned in The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding) and have enjoyed them both, and therefore was keen to read this latest offering! And I wasn't disappointed, the books offer a mix of the structured pressures of the regency era, strong women and a modern take of sexual freedom, which livens up the era and certainly leaves propriety behind! But sometimes that is what needs doing, after all no one really has a problem when TV programs 'sex up' history (just look at how successful - and historically inaccurate - The Tudors was to see my point) so books should too!
The interesting thing about the sex scenes in The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding, and the other two books as well, is that they don't feel out of place at all. You don't get the modern nicknames for body parts, or horrible cringe worthy names for them either. It did surprise me at first, but in my opinion the sex scenes fit with the era, which actually makes them less about the sex and more about the story.
As with all good Regency books there was the rakish and dislikable male character, in this case Jacob's brother Arthur, who was shown to do some despicable things, and hinted at doing more. I found it difficult to like him from the start, though how much of that was Jane's dislike of him and how much was my own was debatable. Though by the end of the book I don't think even the most villain sympathetic person could have liked him.
There is a fair bit of drama in The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding, as well as romance and a layer of sex as well, all adding up to a thrilling and engaging Regency story!
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