Book Review

Book Review: The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels (Dangerous Damsels #1) by India Holton

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical romance + Fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: India Holton
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: June 15th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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.


Do you ever feel that question whenever you’ve closed a book? Because that’s how this one made me feel. And not even in a bad way because it was verrrrry entertaining. I just have no idea what genre it was hanging out in and exactly what the plot was trying to accomplish. And while that did bring it down a little for me, I think it also really added to its overall charm.

Cecilia and Ned were an adorable match. I love a good assassin falling in love with their mark trope. It worked well here and got more heated than I expected, but still enjoyed. They were clearly into each other and worked well together to help rescue Cecilia’s society.

The society of lady scoundrels (aka pirates) had me laughing. It was utterly ridiculous with the wild dialogue and commentary. I loved it. It was hilarious every time someone mentioned how posh it was to be worthy of being a mark for an assassin and how everyone steals from everyone else, but also, lets get together and steal from this guy too. Ahha, it was comical and spot on humorous.

It’s delightful and silly. The villain is outrageous. Plot’s a bit scattered. Yet, a fun and lighter read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance + fantasy aspects
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to one brief open door
  • Violence: physical, gun and swords, swashbuckling, murder

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