Book Reviews

Review: The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels is a hilarious and entertaining romance. Featuring whip smart banter, this book oscillates between laughter and non-stop action with some amazing heroines. If you love heroines who have retorts are sharp as their blades – this is for you. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.

Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.

When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.


I always love clever pirates in dresses and The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels is no exception. While this is definitely a period romance book, it retains an attitude and tone that make it feel modern. The banter, the feminism, and the ways these characters are more concerned with robbery than husbands. Major love all around from me. I had to read the dialogue so carefully to make sure I was understanding all the clever barbs. And once I did, I began to laugh every few pages.

That combined with a heavy dose of subterfuge, house chases, and battles – I was smitten. I am a big sucker for spies and betrayals – that tension on the tip of a knife point. There are betrayals occurring on every layer which is only matched by the chemistry between Cecilia and Ned. If you are a fan of witty banter and plenty of action, dressing up, and infiltration then you have to read this one. There’s plenty of tropes if you’re coming to this book from a romance perspective, the historical fiction touches were a delight, and there’s also a splash of magic.

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All in all, The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels was unexpected and entertaining. Find The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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