The Smile of the Stranger

Joan Aiken

16 May 2024
352 pages


The Paget family's adventures begin in this Gothic regency romance from legendary author Joan Aiken, perfect for fans of Bridgerton, Netflix's romantic drama series inspired by the novels of Julia Quinn.

When danger forces expatriate English gentlewoman Juliana Paget to flee her home in Italy, she embarks on a journey full of thrilling adventure. Nothing could have prepared her for outwitting a French mob, crossing the Channel in a hot air balloon, or fending off the advances of the fascinating Count Welcker.

Arriving in London just in time for her very first Season, Juliana is going to find all her ideals challenged and the truth of her heart finally revealed.

'Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come.' Philip Pullman

The Smile of the Stranger would have won Miss Heyer’s complete approval – a regency Gothic romp stamped with Joan Aiken’s splendid wit, pace and sentiment
Joan Aiken has such fun when she writes that it’s infectious – gloriously exaggerated characters and plot are spiced by a dry wit which forbids one to take anything seriously at all
Joan Aiken is a storyteller par excellence with an educated awareness of nineteenth-century English fiction