‘If Bridgerton and Fleabag had a book baby’ Sarra Manning
by Lex Croucher
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 8 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 8 Jul 2021
Bonnier Books UK, Zaffre
BRIDGERTON meets GOSSIP GIRL and MEAN GIRLS in the scandalous debut novel from hilarious one-to-watch author, Lex Croucher.
Regency just got a little more rebellious
Abandoned by her parents in favour of a sea view, middle-class Georgiana Ellers has moved to a new town to live with her dreary aunt and uncle. At a particularly dull dinner party she meets the enigmatic Frances Campbell, a wealthy socialite and enchanting member of the in-crowd.
Through Frances and her friends Georgiana is introduced to a new world of wild parties, drunken debauchery, mysterious young men with strangely alluring hands, and the sparkling upper echelons of Regency society.
But high society isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and the price of entry might be more than Georgiana is willing to pay . . .
Lex Croucher is a writer, producer and You Tuber based in London, with over 100,000 followers across her social media platforms.
With a focus on female friendships and self-identity, Reputation is a fun, touching and terrifically improper novel, perfect for fans of Austen and romcoms.
Follow Lex and find out more at:
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 87 members
This book was the most fun I’ve had in such a long time. Lex Croucher perfectly captures both the voice and tone of an Austen novel, whilst adding a few modern touches of their own that make the story a delight to read. A lovely coming of age story that contains dastardly men, misunderstandings, stolen glances and a protagonist with all the best qualities of Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennet, yet also completely distinct in her own right. This book had me cackling in laughter and gasping in shock, and I can’t wait to see what Croucher writes next!
Mmm, a deliciously satisfying romance with a fantastic set of characters, a lot of heart and a delightful amount of regency-era melodrama. This is definitely very Pride and Prejudice/Emma meets Mean Girls (and very self aware to that respect) so if you're into that I would recommend it, and if you're a movie exec I would recommend adapting it asap please. Also astonished by how invested I was in the main m/f romance in this - truly so good and pure.
An utter delight to read. Like Pride and Prejudice meets Harlots all wrapped into one. Only better. A gracious tale of love, sex, marriage proposals, and parties. Very cheeky, fun but still felt fresh and modern. Georgiana and her relationship with Betty particularly is one to watch, as is her letter writing to Mr Hawksby. Some real heartache and tragedy within this too, this is a very well rounded book. Absolutely loved it, couldn't put it down. One of those, I'll read one more chapter, and another, and then I got to the end in one sitting,
Well, what can I say? It's 1am and I've stayed up because I couldn't put this down! I loved the character of Georgiana even if sometimes I wanted to shout at her haha. Getting insight into the main gang as we slowly got to know them and see they weren't just 2 dimensional rich people was really interesting. The large cast of characters were well developed and complex although the ending was slightly ambiguous with some of them. I like the discussion on how wealth and privilege protect you yet how women are still often powerless in this society. Georgiana's character development was interesting and believable. There was good queer rep even if it wasn't the main romance and I was fully invested in the main couple's relationship by the end. However, I would say this is definitely a story about friendship and learning to accept yourself and stand up for what you believe in despite the pressures from those around you. I can't wait to read it all again!
A fabulous book to fill the void between seasons of Bridgerton! Really loved this fresh and contemporary take on historical fiction. It reminded me of the witty tone from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, while also keeping true to the genre. I was also surprised at what a page-turner it was. The characters leapt off the page and the voice was fun and absorbing. Thanks so much for my review copy!
This book was BRILLIANT! Funny, whipsmart, debauched and engrossing. The writing is tight and precise, the characters are well drawn and the whole thing is a joy to read. Think Jane Austen meets Louise Rennison meets Mean Girls. Very much loved it and will very much be recommending it to friends.
Sometimes a book just hits every vibe you need it to hit. It's the wonderful New Adult combination Pride and Prejudice and Mean Girls that we didn't know we needed. Georgiana is packed off to live with her aunt and uncle and finds that her new life is nowhere near as exciting as her books led her to believe. Soon, however, she is swept up into the scandalous world of late nights and unchaperoned parties. I really loved this book. I laughed out loud throughout it and SQUEE'd at least twice. The characters and their development felt so frustratingly real (in a good way), and the letters, that begin with the Regency equivalent of a drunk text, are so much fun. The portrayal of getting swept up in the obsessive qualities of a new, exciting friendship with somebody who seems to command every room led to a slight existential crisis in which I realized that I have never had an original experience in my life.
I was really excited for this book and I'm so glad to say it did not disappoint. I genuinely just had a great time reading it. I laughed, I was frustrated, angry and totally invested in Georgiana and her nonsense. The discussions are consent, gender, sexuality and class felt very modern but were beautifully translated to fit with the time period this book is set in.
Reputation reads like Jane Austen if she had the soul of a person living in 21st century. It has all the wit, humour, tension and heart of your favourite Austen novel but with all the scandal she wouldn't have dared write about. Brilliantly written, Reputation is an honest portrayal of moving to somewhere new as a teenager and being swept away by the cool kids, only told through a creative Regency lens. This isn’t just a historical novel that focuses on the floaty dresses and garden parties of the Regency upper-class but takes a dive into the seedy underbelly of aristocratic society. And boy does the book have fun in this setting. Alongside the intimacy of flirtatious letters, garden parties and beautiful piano scenes there are drinking games with Regency appropriate names and illicit substances hidden in snuff boxes. I wish all historical fiction was as joyful as this book, and I would absolutely recommend it for anyone who is a fan of Austen and general hijinx.
Regency meets heathers, what more could you want! I’ve always found it difficult to read more classic romances but Lex captures the vibe of the era while making it very accessible to the contemporary reader. The story follows Georgina, and the slightly debaucherous nobility she meets whilst being shipped off to stay with her aunt and uncle. The plethora of different characters including lgbtq characters is refreshing and everything I always wanted regency novels to be. (Also, that mean girls Easter egg mad me fangirl way too much), resulting in relationships blossoming, power struggle and just a smidge of revenge. This made me want to go to parties and steal glances from handsome men and rowdy women ❤️
I’m in love... This book is advertised as pride and prejudice meets mean girls and I honestly can’t think of a better way to describe it! If you are fan of either of these, if bridgerton or historical romance this books is for you. If you love teen books about drama, friendship and romance, this book could also be for you. The book follows our main character Georgiana as she lives with her aunt and uncle and makes some new friends. However, her new friends are very different to the very good ladies and gents that are expected of that time. The story sees our main character enter an exciting but dangerous new world and all of the good and bad consequences of doing so. I adored this book, it might be that it was right up my street, it might be the pride and prejudice and mean girls references... ‘Get in Georgianna, we’re going shopping’ This book takes a great new look at historical romance that is inclusive, exciting but also romantic. I loved how Georgiana’s character unfolded and developed and how her aunt and uncles characters did too. I really enjoyed the romance too, it was really well written and played out well. The gentlemen in question was very respectable and a modern take on the Mr Darcy and Aaron Samuels. This book does have some difficult topics in and some could be triggering but the author has handled them well. TW for sexual abuse, drugs and alcohol, abuse. All in all, when I get paid I will be pre-ordering this book and anticipating it’s release in July. Also hoping that Miss Croucher will bring picking up her pen and writing some more novels like these... maybe a series? A enchanting and beautiful debut that is really engaging, I just couldn’t put it down! (Hoping to do a video review closer to release) This book was sent from netgalley for an honest review.
God, did I love this. Once it comes out, I know I'm going to resent people getting to read it for the first time - it's so damn charming , funny and romantic. Think Gossip Girl meets Pride & Prejudice meets Bridgerton meets Mean Girls. Georgiana is a wonderful lead character, I came to quickly and deeply care for her. Her interactions with her potential love interest are enviably witty and sparkling. I even gasped and cupped my mouth out of sheer joy on several occasions. So swoonily written, I even popped back on the dating apps in the desperation of finding my own eligible match - but nothing compared to the love story here. And so I continue to live vicariously through romantic comedies - but when they're as good as this I'm really not complaining about that fact! Witty, warm and utterly delightful.
Brilliantly written and an excellent debut novel. It is correctly described as Pride & prejudice meets mean girls - all the teenage debauchery, mixed with the perfect amount of romance.
Thank you NetGalley for the e-arc! This book had been on my radar for a while so I was thrilled when I was approved for the arc and it definitely did not disappoint! Reputation is an expertly written regency novel for the modern reader. The gripping plot makes you feel so invested in the characters, along with their struggles and adventures. The sense of humour used is dry and witty and provided so many laugh out loud moments for me. High recommend to anyone who enjoys regency, romance or rich kid drama!
I loved Reputation, I can see the resemblance between period drama novels and Bridgerton, but it's so much more than that Georgiana is our heroine and through events that lead her to form a friendship with Frances, the tale unfolds. Frances is wealthy, leads a debauched life but she also falls in love with an unsavoury gentleman. Georgiana is naive and has her eyes well and truly opened throughout the novel. Its a laugh out loud, an absorbing tale which leaves you feeling sad - wanting more once you have finished I loved it and can't wait to read more of Lex Croucher's work.
I can't even begin to put into words how much I loved this book. It was the cross between Bridgerton and Mean Girls I never knew I needed. It was so interesting to read a novel set in this time period where young people were throwing caution to the wind and partying and socialising with the opposite sex without proper chaperones. It must have happened, but you never really get to read about it and it was the most fun to experience as a reader. I loved Georgiana and Thomas so much and that scene in the cellar when they almost kissed was delicious with tension and everything you want in a romance plot. I would have loved to have seen more of Frances and Jane's relationship and I'm hoping that might follow in a sequel... The sexual assault storyline was well handled and served to demonstrate the patriarchal society they were trapped in, which was even worse then than it is now. I loved Georgiana's aunt and uncle rallying around her and proving how much they love her, I LOVED Thomas and his father standing by her and I also really liked that Frances softened a bit after Georgiana saved her, but still remained perfectly Frances and quite mean. I will reread this book many times and I need there to be more books featuring the same characters. As a final comment, part of my soul died and ascended to heaven when I read the line "Get in Georgiana, we're going shopping". True perfection.
Really loved this, entertaining, well structured, wittily written and romantic. Choice lines include: “I put my breeches on one leg at a time like everyone else” and “get in Georgiana, we’re going shopping.”
This novel focuses on Georgiana Ellers as she navigates a new life with her aunt & uncle, a new friendship group led by Frances Campbell, and perhaps a new romance with Thomas Hawksley. I liked the character of Georgiana and really enjoyed her coming-of-age tale. I could relate to her naiveté & desire to fit in with a new crowd, even when it meant forgetting who she truly was. Frances Campbell was a very complex character, sympathetic at times but utterly deplorable at others. Thomas Hawksley was on par with any Jane Austen hero, reserved at first but dashing all the same. The inclusion of LGBT+ characters was really refreshing for a regency novel, and it was done in a way that included them in the main narrative but did not discount how hard life would have been. I would recommend this to readers who are looking for Jane Austen with a modern twist.
Reputation is a thoroughly enjoyable historical fiction, full of wit, whimsy and scandal that drew me in right from the beginning. It feels appropriately set in its time, but with modern writing. It gives us all the 'behind the scenes' debauchery and drama of regency society that you don't usually get to see. The characters are what make this novel brilliant. The cast is such a mixed bunch, from likeable, and even loveable, all the way to utterly despicable, but all of them very enjoyable to read about. It was so easy to become invested in the lives of these characters. Our protagonist, Georgiana, has excellent character development throughout and is a quick-witted star. Highly recommended for all fans of regency romance, but also in particular - readers who can sometimes find historical romance a bit bland for their tastes. You won't be left disappointed with this read, I'm convinced!
I absolutely adored this book! The characters all feel so vivid and real and flawed, and the story is a perfect mix of slightly unrealistic romance (and very chance encounters) and more realistic and funny scenes! I found myself grinning and laughing at this book so much more than I have at any book for a long while, it was truly enjoyable to read. I absolutely flew through it and I’ll definitely be recommending it to as many people as possible.
Ahhhh! What can I even say about this book! So pleased to finally read Lex Croucher's creative writing after following her career over the last few years and truly they did not disappoint. This is a novel by someone who you can really tell loves Austen and manages to get the tone really right, all while producing something very exciting and fresh. It doesn't feel like a copy, it feels really original. Comparisons to Bridgerton are fine (and I hope that comparison will bring an even wider audience to this book), but I think Reputation is even better (and less problematic...).
Reputation is such a fun take on a Regency Style tale. Georgiana is a relatable, likable character who is thrust into society whilst staying with her aunt and uncle. I tore through this in one sitting and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a light, fun read
Honestly, this was my favourite book I have read this year and I cannot recommend it highly enough. As someone who devoured Jane Austen and Emily Bronte novels as a teen, I have been enamoured with period pieces for quite some time. And Bridgerton just reignited that fire. So Reputation came around at the most perfect time. Billed as Mean Girls meets Jane Austen, we meet Georgiana during her first season "out", when she runs into the "popular" kids, in the 1800s that is. She is introduced to a brand new world of alcohol, partying and drugs. Who said the Regency era was boring? While she's riding high from her newfound popularity, has she gone too far? This book was everything I could have dreamed of and more. It fits perfectly into the New Adult genre and it even has it's own Mr Darcy. There is a lot of triggering content including sexual assault and domestic abuse - the author has a full list on her website. But it is something that you should be aware of when going in,
REPUTATION was a delight from beginning to end, definitely delivering on the Jane Austen x Mean Girls mashup promised. The contrast between the historical setting and modern humour felt fresh — although, the bawdier tone is probably closer to the truth than some of the more puritanical portraits you see painted of this period. Croucher manages to create a regency era society that feels both nostalgic and critical; it's escapist but not glorifying, and certainly never attempts to erase historical injustices. It also doesn't seek to erase the oft-forgot queer people and people of colour who undoubtedly existed in British society at the time. Not to say that this is a state-of-society novel, as it's very much a character study, and a character and relationship driven story. The reader is simply made aware of the society around Georgiana, and her role in it as both as both a helpless cog and an active agent. We watch Georgiana develop for both better and worse, and the development of her various relationships as she becomes entrenched within the Polite Society (which is in reality, very unpolite) to which she so aspires. The analysis of class was particularly well done, something that often goes under-examined in novels of the regency that focus on the middle and upper classes. Georgiana is of a lower class than many of the other characters in the novel, and through her eyes we are able to see both her fascination with the more exciting parts, and disgust at the uglier parts, of the behaviour of the rich and powerful. Whilst Croucher certainly allows for the reader to revel in the characters' hedonism, the way they handled the ill-effects of this both on the individual, and on others, was particularly interesting. The narrative is littered with substance abuse and addiction, something that Georgiana feels is necessary to both gain and keep her new, popular friends — which is then challenged by our hero: Thomas Hawksley, who's adverse to these vices in response to his own trauma. The handling of sexual harassment felt perhaps a little too twenty-first century, but I wouldn't have wanted it to be any other way. So much of how we write fiction set in the past is revisionist anyway, so why not imagine a past where people really did believe women? Of course, we can't forget that REPUTATION is ultimately a romance, and a gloriously romantic one at that. Thomas is exactly my kind of romantic hero, and he was both a great character and a great contrast to Georgiana. I spotted several illusions or references to scenes from Austen novels and adaptations that I doubt were an accident. Initially Thomas seems to have a Mr Darcy-like countenance, but later on his relationship to Georgiana strays into an Emma/Mr Knightly dynamic which was delicious. Whilst Georgiana and Thomas's relationship was one of my favourite aspects of the novel, perhaps the most interesting dynamic is between Georgiana and Frances. Croucher captures the dizzying excitement of a new friendship, especially with someone you regard as outgoing and popular, and the way this can crumble from beneath you if there's a misunderstanding about who the other person really is. We delve into the dangers on transactional friendship, and the way that aspects like class and hierarchy come between them. It's frenemies excellence. I could go on about a dozen more of my favourite characters and favourite moments from the novel, but I wanted to focus on the themes and major relationships in this review. I feel like REPUTATION was doing something really smart that I haven't completely grasped yet, and I wanted to highlight that it was a darker and more complex novel than you might first assume. (But still a whole lot of fun too).