With The Luckiest Lady in London, Sherry Thomas has created two characters who disguise their true natures and objectives while manipulating others into doing what they wish. And makes us care for them.
Louisa Cantwell knew at a young age that she would have to be the one to marry well and save her family from the penury that awaits her and her many sisters when their mother—and her annuity—passes on. She spends years transforming her outward appearance and manners in order to woo London Society.
But all her extra years of practice had paid off and London was quite taken with her. Or rather, with the Miss Cantwell she presented to Society. She was warm but not overfamiliar, sweet but not cloying, and appreciative of her moment in the sun without the least whiff of graspiness or, worse, desperation.
. . .
All this linguistic extravagance sometimes made Louisa laugh at night, under her blanket. And it sometimes made her quake—for surely the illusion couldn't last the entire Season. Soon people would realize that her hair was glossy only because of all the mayonnaise she'd put in it over the years, that her trademark closedmouthed smile was to hide several crooked teeth, and that, of course, the bodices of her dresses would look awfully concave if it weren't for the artful and stalwart bust improvers in her wardrobe.