Saturday, October 11, 2008

Book Review

"Mr. Cavendish, I Presume" by Julia Quinn

From the back cover: "Amelia Willoughby has been engaged to the Duke of Wyndham for as long as she can remember. Literally. A mere six months old when the contracts were signed, she has spent the rest of her life waiting. And waiting. And waiting . . . for Thomas Cavendish, the oh-so-lofty duke, to finally get around to marrying her. But as she watches him from afar, she has a sneaking suspicion that he never thinks about her at all . . .

It's true. He doesn't. Thomas rather likes having a fiancée—all the better to keep the husband-hunters at bay—and he does intend to marry her . . . eventually. But just when he begins to realize that his bride might be something more than convenient, Thomas's world is rocked by the arrival of his long-lost cousin, who may or may not be the true Duke of Wyndham. And if Thomas is not the duke, then he's not engaged to Amelia. Which is the cruelest joke of all, because this arrogant and illustrious duke has made the mistake of falling in love . . . with his own fiancée!"

This is the second of two novels featuring the Two Dukes of Wyndham. The first was clever, passionate, funny, and charming, and I was really looking forward to this follow-up. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy reading "the other side of the story". I had been hoping for a novel about what happens to Thomas and Amelia AFTER Thomas loses his title, but instead got a recycled book that followed the same story line as the first, complete with identical dialog. Because of this "re-telling" it lacked the excitement and charm of the first.

Amelia was a wonderfully thought out heroine, who deserved her own book. She was smart and a bit wicked, but she played off of Thomas, who was stiff and dull, and who's sense of duty seemingly squashed all the life out of him. Quinn's characters typically are consumed with passion for one another, but these two were stifled in that aspect. There was little romance between them. It wasn't until the 80 or so pages that these two really came together and it just felt like too little, too late.

All in all, a romantic story, but one that could easily have been included in her first book, "The Lost Duke of Wyndham".

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