Finally, in the fourth of Jen Turano's Ladies of Distinction series, Agatha Watson gets to have it out with Zayne Beckett. In spite of her former infatuation, she no longer cares for him in the slightest, but when she stumbles upon him by accident in Colorado and takes in his bedraggled, drunken state, she knows someone has to take him in hand and home after a two-year absence, and it looks that someone has to be her. After blowing up his prospects out west, Agatha drags him back East, never mind that she left New York because someone was threatening to kill her, and that threat is still active. As Zayne tries to protect Agatha, Agatha feels her heart being touched once more by the man, but will the oblivious Zayne ever feel the same way?
I'm so glad Agatha finally got her book (and Zayne, for that matter). A major character from the very beginning, even appearing briefly in the introductory novella, Agatha has been a source of mischief and a good friend to all the heroines before her. Quite the daring and outspoken young woman, she makes enemies as easily as mosquito, but her heart is to help those in need, and she has a strong faith backing that desire.
I love it when a series ties together well, and this one is especially good about referencing and re-referencing characters. Besides the main characters from the other novels, I enjoyed seeing other recurring characters, who, though minor, have briefly shown up in most of the stories (it helps to reread the series, because suddenly those familiar names pop right out!). Even a couple characters from the extras, like Charlotte St. James ("A Gentleman of Her Dreams") and Agatha's co-worker Horace Pitkin ("An Interview with Miss Arabella Beckett") make an appearance in this conclusion to the series.
As with the other novels in the series, Turano left me sniggering throughout the story. The crazy circumstances in which Agatha frequently finds herself, be they involving pigs, dynamite, or ridiculous disguises, are full of humor. In addition, besides a broken leg, Zayne suffers from an incredibly painful case of foot-in-mouth disease when it comes to Agatha, creating some highly amusing scenes.
Zayne exhibits the most spiritual growth in this novel (and well he should, considering the state in which we find him), though in general the spiritual message is not as strong as in some of her other novels. The secondary characters Mr. Blackheart and Drusilla add a fun dynamic to the tale, and Matilda is a stroke of genius. This book is a grand conclusion to a hilarious series!
Thank you Bethany House for providing a free book for the purpose of review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
I highly recommend reading the entire Ladies of Distinction series:
.5 "Gentleman of Her Dreams" (e-novella)
1. A Change of Fortune
2. A Most Peculiar Circumstance
3. A Talent for Trouble
4. A Match of Wits