Remember when you were a kid and you devoured all those Choose Your Own Adventure books, which let you die in a variety of fantastic and gruesome ways? I didn’t realise it was something I was missing in my adult life until I heard about My Lady’s Choosing – a Regency romance CYOA!
Book: My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris
Read before: No – though the reread potential is high!
Ownership: Paperback hard copy – a birthday present
This is such a very clever idea for a book – I wish I’d thought of it! There’s really very little that can be said about the actual plots without giving too much away, but the concept is exactly the same as your childhood CYOAs. At the end of each section, you are given a choice, and you flip to the page linked to your choice – for instance, in one of the early sections, you can choose which gentleman you would like to be introduced to first at a ball. Then you follow the choices through and make a different story each time (or if you’re like me, you use up all your fingers trying to keep track of all the different choices you could have made!). You certainly can’t read this from start to finish in one go!
My first choice for romance was the philanthropist Highlander, who is in no way reminiscent of Jamie Fraser, haha (even down to a foal being born). Other options include the Mr Darcy-ish gentleman, a roguish young society lady, a Mr Rochester-cum-Dorian Grey character, and way more possible eligible people. Some of them pop up mid-way through other story-lines, so I’m not even sure I’ve discovered them all yet!
Each story is totally different, from Napoleonic spies to Egyptian archaeology to Gothic mysteries, but throughout there is a very tongue-in-cheek feel to the writing. It’s pitch perfectly Regency when it needs to be, but very humorous and very knowing in the way it plays with the cheesy tropes – and it’s also absurdly hot. This is not a book for kiddies – there are some pretty raunchy scenes in some storylines, although these are punctuated with humour (the word ‘caber’ appears many, many times in Non-Jamie Fraser’s storyline!) and a hilarious amount of innuendo. In tone, the humour reminds me of Austenland, but the film, rather than the book. It’s written with a love of the genre and a cheeky wink to more modern heroines.
Honestly, the fun in this is reading/playing it for yourself – if you’ve ever been an Austen or a Heyer fan, you’ll enjoy the hell out of this.
Five out of five cats!