MY LADY'S CHOOSING is a choose-your-own-adventure regency romance novel and, as someone who grew up reading the classic CYOA stories, I had a lot of fun with it. Before I get into the review - I rarely recommend a specific format, but I do think the experience would be better if I was reading it in paper rather than clumsily attempting to swipe to the correct page.
The Romantic Options
When you open up the book, you are presented with a cast of characters. One of them is you: a plucky but penniless young woman who currently serves as a lady's companion to a woman not-so-affectionately nicknamed "The Dragon." The others are...
Lady Evangeline - Your friend and female potential romantic partner. You're given a choice at one point to accompany her to Egypt, to a scandalous women's club, and on other adventures.
Sir Benedict - This romantic path is something more of a Mr. Darcy trope. He's uptight and always must do The Done Thing. You get to ruffle his feathers, which is pretty amusing.
"Mac" - A retired Scottish soldier who has dedicated his life to widows and orphans. He's the nice cuddly cinnamon roll you want to take to bed.
Craven - The bad boy of the bunch. This is the hero you'd never want in real life but maybe want to read about? (IDK, I didn't spend much time in his story.)
That's three gentlemen and one lady for you to choose from, all white. Regency readers will quickly recognize the archetypes they often see in popular novels, which makes for some entertaining satire as you read on. (One of the estates is called "Manberley.")
The Reading Experience
If you're familiar with CYOA novels, you'll easily pick up the rhythm of the story. Every couple of pages you're either directed to another scene (Turn to page 126.) or given a choice to make, with two different page directions. (If you want to go to Egypt, turn to page 93. If you want to go to London, turn to page 240.)
The full book is 352 pages, including a few illustrations, so you can imagine just under 1/4 of the book for each romance if you'd like. All of the storylines share a few pages at the beginning as you meet characters, but they quickly diverge and take you through any number of tropes and situations.
Should You Read This?
If you're looking for a long, emotionally evocative story, this isn't the book for you. If you're a longtime romance reader, you'll find a lot of jokes and references to love.
I picked this book up at exactly the right time. I've had a hard time really sinking into a book lately, and the quick and lively storytelling in these stories was diverting but didn't require much of me. I look forward to buying the completed version in paperback so I can enjoy all of the illustrations.
CW for some scenes of attempted assault or coercion.