Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mr. Bishop and the Actress by Janet Mullany

Title: Mr. Bishop and the Actress
Author: Janet Mullany

Genre: Fiction (Historical / Regency)
Publisher/Publication Date: Little Black Dress (3/3/2011)
Source: Won from Risky Regencies

Rating: Loved.
Did I finish?: Yes, and I even reread the last few chapters to revisit the awesome.
One-sentence summary: Proper Mr Bishop meets the decidedly improper Sophie Wallace and both pretend sparks aren't flying as they deal with family, troupes of actors, a wayward ward, and other obstacles in this Regency romp.
Reading Challenges: British Books, Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: Yes -- it's cute and fun (and matches her other books so adorably!)

I'm reminded of...: I'm not sure I've read another author like her!

First line: Sophie clung to the ladder, her face a pale oval in the dark as she looked up at the two girls peering out of the window.

Did... my wife kick me out of bed because I kept her up with my loud laughing, snickering, and chortling?: YES.  I was banned from reading this after 9pm, unless I read it in the living room. 

Did... I keep getting lost in this book every time I thumbed through it to find something to quote?: YES.  I've just spent the last thirty minutes rereading rather than writing this review!

Is... this the sexiest book I've read that doesn't feature a sex scene?: YES. Sex scenes are certainly hinted at but the reader doesn't witness the action, and yet, the romance is still super steamy!

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Buy if you can -- sadly I suspect many libraries won't have this book but it's such a sweet treat, I recommend picking it up!

Why did I get this book?: I love regencies and I especially cracked up at the title, which is inspired by the English joke of adding " the actress said to the bishop," at the end of an otherwise banal sentence.

Review: June is always a rough month for me -- perhaps my busiest month work-wise as I gear up for a large annual conference.  It's long days and late nights and a metric ton of stress and I rarely want to do anything but veg.  This book, however, was the silly, comforting, and easy read I needed to unwind after an aggravating 16-hour work day.  (It did, however, keep me up at night, snorting and giggling, much to my wife's deep sadness.)

Told in the alternating viewpoints of Sophie Marsden Wallace, an 'actress' and courtesan, and Harry Bishop, an upstanding and well-mannered steward for a Viscount, this novel manages to be romantic and hilarious in equal part.  (In some places, it's practically slapstick.)  Not only did I love Sophie and Harry, who are the unlikeliest-yet-most-lovely romantic pairing I've seen in a while, I adored literally every other character in this book.  On the surface, the characters seem a bit predictable -- rakish Viscount, lovely ward, rapacious stage manager father -- and yet, Mullany gives each character enough of a twist to make them surprising, interesting, and fun. 

A perfect summertime read for anyone who wants to giggle a great deal and sigh happily and escape the humdrum for a few hours.

*** *** ***

GIVEAWAY!  I so loved this book I'm buying a copy to send to one lucky reader!  Leave a comment with an email address to be entered.  Open to US/international readers (if Book Depository ships to you).  Closes 7/8.  Come back on Wed, 6/22 for an interview with Janet Mullany and a chance for another entry!


  1. Lol, it sounds fun! I was smitten by the title already and the story in it sounds great. I wanna giggle too so I am in

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

  2. This looks very funny! I love this type of book! Thanks for the giveaway!


  3. Love love love your review of this. I've never heard of this book but would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. suh-weeeet! i like the sounds emanating from you for this ;-D
    vvb32 at

  5. This sounds like a fun summer read! Would love to win it.

    amandask66 AT gmail DOT com


  6. Sounds great! I'd love to read it.


  7. Ahem, for obvious reasons don't include me in the drawing, but thank you so much for the wonderful review!

  8. From you review this sounds like a very enjoyable read so please enter me in the giveaway.

    Thank you.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  9. It sounds lovely. I'm definitely adding it to my to-read pile.

    arcookson at yahoo dotcom

  10. I have never actually heard of this book, but you make it sound irresistible! Sexy without being too provocative, funny and snort-worthy, and exciting? Yes please! This was a lovely review, and I will be adding it to my wish list, in addition to entering your great giveaway! Thanks for hosting it!


  11. I love your review of the book. Count me in for the giveaway! Thanks, Melanie

  12. This sounds like a really fun book, just the kind I like to read! Thanks for the giveaway:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  13. I've never heard of this book but it sounds great. Your enthusiasm for it makes me curious about it. I love how you were banned from reading it after 9pm unless you were in the living room. That's too funny. I'd love to win a copy!

    darreads (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. It really says something about a book when you finish it and start reading parts of it again. I'm intrigued by the sexiness without a sex scene, so throw my name into the hat please!


  15. niceee :)
    sounds like a great book!
    thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Every once in a while, a novel with a humorous edge strikes the spot. I'd love to read this.


  17. Giggling while reading,,,that's a good thing :)

    Sounds like a great vacation read!

  18. Your intense enthusiasm makes this book all the more intriguing. I also love a good Regency every now and then. I've never heard of this book or the author before, but it sounds fun!


  19. Superrrrrr!
    Its a really amazing giveaway!
    Count me in!


  20. OMG! Your review totally sold me! This sounds like so much fun. Thanks for bringing it to my attention and for your generousity in sharing a copy!

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  21. Your review makes me want to read this book. I'm always up for a funny, entertaining read. =)

  22. New to me as well and sounds good! Thanks for offering it to all readers!


  23. i'm interested in reading this novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  24. Your review made up my mind in a hurry. I am going to read this book. If I don't win it than I will be buying it shortly. Thanks for the chance.