I'm a big fan of British period fiction. My love affair started at about 13, evolving from America's Henry James and Edith Wharton. It continues, four decades later.
Habits of the House is an enjoyable book. It's not demanding, and you'll not learn anything. I actually read it on the deck, in a loungechair, under an umbrella. It's that kind of summer read.
I think the author, a well-respected Brit with numerous awards, included just enough bawdiness to make the book marketable; just enough royalty to make it appear legit; just enough descriptions of food, jewels and fashion to make her work pleasurable to a female demographic. In other words, she wrote the piece like a pro.
As a well-traveled American, though, I take exception to her stereotypical depiction of American travelers of the period. Although she positions the heroine as the illegitimate child of a former burlesque dancer and a cattle baron, and these characters make for a colorful story, the ill-mannered American with a heart of gold is kind of tiresome, and it's about time to put the cliche to bed.
Habits of the House is great for time at the beach (or on the deck). There are two forthcoming books in the series, and unless it's a slow fiction day on my bookshelves, I probably won't invest in them.