Book Review: The Worst Woman in London by Julia Bennet

Title: The Worst Woman in London

Author: Julie Bennet

Pages: 299

Publisher: Self Published

Date Published: 2nd Feb, 2023

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Book Review:

Thank you NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for the chance to read and review The Worst Woman in London by Julia Bennet!

You could never be unwomanly. Impractical perhaps, but then ideals are rarely practical.

When Francesca decides to file for divorce she knows that she’ll be removed from polite society! After all, her husband, is no worse than most men of the ton and she should know better than to have her own indiscretions, or at least be more discreet. With her family abandoning her, no money, and her divorce at risk (at a time where a woman had to be faultless and prove desertion and abuse to given the right to divorce and remarry) she’s still willing to go through it all, if only to have her freedom. When James is sent by her husband to try and negotiate a more informal separation instead of a divorce, sparks fly. But that would put it all at risk.

The Worst Woman in London is the first regency romance I’ve read with this premise. And it’s also got a woman facing the very real things that happened in society at the time. Her husband hasn’t bothered to see her in 8 years. but if she has an affair she won’t have a full divorce. He can flaunt his mistress openly and give her expensive diamonds, but can withdraw financial support, and keep all of the money she may have inherited. If a woman has a more “stimulating” interest, her parents can refuse to indulge her (like how Sylvia Randle could only read for an hour on certain days” and marry her off to the highest bidder. Even with a happy ending, which is a necessary part of a regency romance (more specifically Victorian romance), we aren’t sure what the happiness will be and will it be only a certain measure of happiness. We don’t see a reconciliation with the family and we don’t see material wealth, even if we do see love. We also know that the happy ending was entirely due to another mans power.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


A defiant Victorian wife fights to escape a bad marriage but her love for a forbidden man jeopardizes her chance at freedom.

James Standish knows how to play society’s game. He’ll follow the rules, marry a virginal debutante, and inherit a massive fortune. At least, that’s the plan until he meets Francesca Thorne. She’s not the sort of woman a respectable gentleman like James could ever marry—not least because, strictly speaking, she’s married already.

Francesca is determined to flout convention and divorce her philandering husband. When James sweet talks his way into her life tasked with convincing her to abandon her dream of freedom, she’s unprepared for the passion that flares between them.

Torn apart by conflicting desires, James and Francesca must choose whether to keep chasing the lives they’ve always wanted or take a chance on a new and forbidden love.

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