My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris is written in the style of a choose-your-own-adventure novel, meaning you’re given choices that then lead you down different plot paths. My Lady’s Choosing begins with a list of “important people” in the book, including the heroine: you, the reader!
YOU are you. The plucky, penniless, Regency-era London version.
Right away, the authors captured my attention, and I was glad I was going to get a humorous romance novel set in the past. Since I was reading this book aloud to my husband, I was careful to make sure we understood the six or so lead characters introduced before the story began. Then, we were off. As a paid companion, YOU must entertain the insufferable Lady Craven. But you make one friend, Lady Evangeline. Hanging out with Lady Evangeline, who knows you are trying to marry someone who will improve your station, means being introduced to different guys: the English rake, the Scottish orphan-lover, the trickster, etc.. What’s fun about reading My Lady’s Choosing to someone else is the spouse and I would discuss which choice to make when we hit a fork, and why.
When Sir Benedict is informed that his father’s marriage to his mother was not legally binding, thus making his newly-discovered half-brother the true heir, YOU have the choice of snooping around. If this new heir has a shifty story, you will find out! Or, do you take off with Lady Evangeline, who is apparently a treasured Egyptologist who can decipher hieroglyphics? Although mysteries are great fun, the spouse and I chose to head to Egypt. If we have to get married and settle down in Regency-era England, why not explore a bit first and have fun with our best friend? Besides, Sir Benedict is no one to us — he makes our loins hot, but we don’t like him! And off we went to Egypt.
The writing is silly in a self-aware way that may grate on some readers after a while. To be continuously amusing, silliness has to transform into wittiness. Because YOU have to get married or tempt dying in a gutter, the spouse and I weren’t sure what to expect, plot-wise, except that we had to find a marriageable man. The problem is, every guy YOU meet is perfectly sexy, hard, strong, and not afraid to have an erection under his pants with you right there. Hoo-boy. The guys all lacked nuance and depth, which made it feel like our choices were one silliness or another. I’m not sure I was excited about where to go when presented with two paths.
Just when I thought our leading lady would fall in lust with every guy she encountered, she did a 180 and surprised me, deciding she was in love with Lady Evangeline, too. The problem is her feelings came out of nowhere, and I even paused to ask the spouse if we had shown evidence before of even flirting with Lady E. My Lady’s Choosing is a cute idea, but I just wasn’t excited to be reading it (sure, my French, Scottish, and vapid accents were great, and I really nailed YOU), but I felt like I wasn’t invested in the survival of my Regency-era self when she just kept wanting to have sex with every character (save her employer, as far as I know).
When the spouse asked if I wanted to go back and see where other divergent paths would take us, I passed. Not only did I not want to read about anymore muscular chests or perfectly-green eyes, but there is no table of contents to get you back to a certain part in the book. You’d need a physical copy and book marks. I will say that there are some terrific quotes from My Lady’s Choosing on Goodreads in the reviews, so it’s possible that we just picked the most “meh” path forward.