RATING: 4 of 5 Stars
GENRE: Adult – Historical Fiction/Romance
SYNOPSIS: Amelia Willoughby has been engaged to the Duke of Wyndham since before she can remember. She has been raised to be a lady, to be a Duchess. Every step, every day, every breath has been seemingly planned out for her. Now that she has come of age, it just seems like her life is a waiting game. Likewise, Thomas Cavendish has known nothing except Wyndham, it has been his life and responsibility. Having a fiancée has been a part of his life just as long, so it is no wonder that courting Amelia hasn’t been his priority, she is his regardless. It isn’t until parts of Thomas’s life begin to unravel and everything he knew to be true is now looking as if it isn’t that he starts to get to know the women who has been his fiancée since childhood. Much to his surprise, he may even fall in love with her.
REVIEW: There was something just so Pride and Prejudice about this book that the day I finished it I went home and snuggled up on the couch to watch the movie. It probably had something to do with Amelia and her five sisters. Or maybe it was Thomas and the admiration and passion that took him by surprise. If Jane Austen was to read this book, however, I’m sure she would have been scandalized, seeing as how Elizabeth and Darcy didn’t even kiss.
I have been caught in a Historical-Romance binge lately. I don’t always write reviews on them though. Why not? Well, mostly because…well, I don’t know really. I think mostly because this blog contain more Young Adult book reviews than anything else…I’ve been considering starting a separate blog, but there are days I do good to do anything besides book reviews on this one. Oh well. Anyway, back to the book….
I’ve been on a binge lately, but I have to say I really, really enjoyed this book. As you are reading you can’t help see the story from both Amelia’s and Thomas’s perspectives, and at times it is easy to be annoyed or aggravated at either one of them, and in the end you love both. Thomas is what people today would be known as a “goodie-goodie.” He does everything that is expected of him without complaint, and this includes living with his over-bearing, extremely loud and opinionated grandmother. (I’m not even sure I could have tolerated her). He knows that he is expected to marry Amelia, and he will. He’s just not in a big hurry.
Amelia is just bursting at the seams to get away from such a stifled life. She is constantly told what to do, and how to behave that her eyes are crossed with the mundaneness of it all. And Thomas is no help. He does what is expected of him and doesn’t even seem to care to notice that Amelia is there, and is to topic of gossip and speculation. She just takes it in stride. When the two finally start getting to know each other, the relationship is just as sweet and beautiful as two teenagers falling in love for the first time. I love that Amelia calls him out on not even thinking about her. In reality it never even crossed Thomas’s mind that he ought to be thinking about her, but once that seed has been planted (and a few other things happen I’m not going to mention here), he can’t help but think about her.
When Jack, the long lost cousin, enters the scene, the book really picks up for the good. It went from an entertaining romance novel into something with a bit more suspense and fun. Just imagine having your life tossed upside down and everything you have known to be true suddenly not be. I didn’t know this was a “book 2” of a series, and didn’t realize that this story had already been told from another perspective, so there were many events I wasn’t expecting. I’m really anxious to get a hold of The Lost Duke which is the first book – but I’m wondering if in the end this one might be my favorite since I read it first.
One last thought – When Amelia attacks Thomas (just before all is revealed, etc) read very slowly…you don’t want to miss a detail. I literally could see her pushing her hands through his hair. HOT, HOT, HOT!