Harking back to those fun-filled, choose-your-own-adventure stories beloved of kids and teens, this lighthearted book takes the reader—in this case, you, a 28-year-old penniless Regency-era heroine in search of a match—on any number of romantic escapades on her way to the requisite happy ending. Characters, settings, and situations are typical of the genre but pushed to the limit (e.g., featuring orphans, werewolves, double-dealings, Egyptian antiquities). The second-person point of view, unusual and disconcerting at first but common to this format, works as intended. Although not an original concept, this is nicely written and inventively done. Even the instructions are fun to read. VERDICT This hilarious, often silly, and over-the-top spoof of romance novels is in no way your typical historical romance, but the myriad possibilities, fast tempo, and tongue-in-cheek approach make it a most entertaining if somewhat page-flipping experience. Debut authors Curran and Zageris, who must have had a ball writing this, live in Chicago.
You are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of eighteenth-century society, courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand. Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet Sir Benedict Granville? Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, horse-loving highlander Captain Angus McTaggart? Or perhaps race through the chapters chasing a good (and arousing) man gone mad, bad, and scandalous to know, Lord Garraway Craven? Or read on recklessly and take to the continent as the “traveling companion” of the spirited and adventuresome Lady Evangeline? Or yet some other intriguing fate?
Unexpected and multiple intertwining storylines make this novel a daring delight to read again and again, with beguiling illustrations bringing all the lust and love to life.
An enticing romp.”—Entertainment Weekly
“If you've ever been frustrated by a romantic heroine's choices, this book is for you.”—Bustle
“Options abound in this quirky spoof that will beg to be re-read over and over as you explore every avenue.”—Harper's Bazaar
“Choose your own adventure and succumb to your passions again and again and again.”—Chicago Reader
“Whether you favor Mr. Darcy or Jamie Fraser of ‘Outlander,’ this book…delivers agency with a side of humor.”—Chicago Tribune
“A tale of non-stop intrigue. . . . [My Lady’s Choosing] is the perfect introduction to Regency era romance.”—The Gazette
“Fun, pick your own adventure book just for romance lovers.”—GeekMom
“I don’t want to influence your path, except with this: buy the book, take some romance for a spin, and have some laughs along the way.”—Geeks of Doom
“Dearest, choose this adventure.”—Autostraddle
“Entertaining.”—Jane Austen News
“Curran and Zageris’s cheeky riff on the Choose Your Own Adventure stories puts readers in the shoes of a feisty 28-year-old Regency miss who’s living as a lady’s companion to a sour dowager… those looking for a farcical romp will find plenty of laughs, winks, and nods in how the stories play out.”—Publishers Weekly
“A Byronic hero, a Highlander and a scandalous aristocratic lady as potential lovers? We’re sold.”—BookPage
“A wonderful use of the Choose Your Own Adventure Format while also paying respect to Austen.”—B&N Reads
“For a lover of the romance genre, this is a great way to shake things up. The structure and story are so incredibly unique and creative...Sheer genius."—Nose in a Book
“You've never read a book like this before! Both hysterical and utterly engrossing, this book puts you in the driver's seat of your own historical romance. While reading MY LADY'S CHOOSING, I laughed, I swooned, and then I started again from page one to do it all over again with a different love interest!”—Carrie DiRisio, author of BroodingYAHero: Becoming A Main Character (almost) As Awesome as Me
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Read an Excerpt
"Move that leg, girl!” the dowager Lady Craven hisses as she prods you with her cane. The two of you are sitting in the back of her rather shabby carriage on the way to your first social event since you started working as her lady’s companion more than a year ago. Sadly, this behavior is far from extraordinary, so you merely sigh and squeeze yourself into an even tinier part of the seat. At this point, one more prod and you would be making love to the carriage door.
“Such a miserable occasion. I can’t think why Evangeline is making us attend,” Lady Craven mutters.
“Well, it is for the widows and orphans of the war—” you venture to say politely, before being cut off with a glare that could strip paint.
“Did I sound like I wanted your opinion?” You know what’s good for you and stop talking immediately. Lady Craven continues on her tirade. “Truly, you are just as woolheaded as your grandfather was. Odious man! I have no idea what your grandmother was thinking when she married him—and with no fortune to recommend him, either! I daresay your late father was just the same, seeing as he didn’t see fit to provide for you after his death . . .”
Spending most of your time with Lady Craven has made you a master at biting your tongue, yet her cruel words about your beloved papa cut you to your core. Still, you depend upon the old dragon for your entire livelihood, so you have no choice but to grit your teeth and clench your fists into the worn fabric of your dress. An old castoff from Lady Craven, the frock is at least twenty years out of date, and you highly suspect that she chose it for you because the mustard-yellow color clashes horribly with your complexion.
“If it wasn’t for the affection I still hold for your late mother, I should have cast you out into the street! And what would you have done then, eh?”
You brood silently yet demurely.
“Probably try to find yourself a protector, no doubt!” she continues. “Just as you have shamelessly set your cap at Sir Charles Burley-Fanshaw. Though I doubt anyone would want to have anything to do with such a silly little chit!”
Your fists grip even tighter around the fabric of your skirts. The repellent Sir Charles is old enough to be your grandpapa and has indeed been sniffing around your person, looking no doubt for a pretty, compliant, and much younger bride. Still, would life in a loveless marriage be any worse than the one you live now?
The carriage arrives at your destination, and you are shaken from your gloomy thoughts—if only for a moment. Perhaps tonight will be the night when everything changes?
Do you accompany your tyrannical employer to the fundraising ball for the Society for the Protection of Widows and Orphans of the War? The company may be atrocious, but balls are fun! If so, turn to page 67.
Or do you run away from Lady Craven, only to find yourself with no other means of survival than to sell your young body into the cold, cruel night? If so, do not go to any other place in this book, for you will be utterly doomed and dead from syphilis within a year.
Sorry. This may be a choosable-path adventure, but as a penniless young unmarried woman at the start of the nineteenth century, your options are somewhat limited. They will get better, though! Turn to page 67.