Although this book is part of a trilogy, each book is a stand-alone story in its own right.
Lord Michael Dunham is bored of society, bored of fickle women, but above all that, he is afraid. His father suffered from madness, and Michael is terrified that he will inherit the same affliction. He scrutinizes his every mood swing, his every expression, to see if he can detect any signs that he is developing the symptoms. It blights his life. He has determined that he will never marry, putting a wife through the same that his mother suffered, and he certainly will never have children. The disease will die with him.
Miss Elizabeth Rufford is a young lady who is more comfortable managing an estate as far away from society as she can possibly be. She would rather be planting crops than dancing a quadrille, rather be building walls than playing cards. She did not seek a London season when she came out of the schoolroom and would be happy never to visit the capital.
A line in a will force the two together. Lord Dunham is Elizabeth's guardian, whether she likes it or not, and she really does not like it! Bounding into his life in the most outrageous way possible, Elizabeth makes an impact she never intended to. Michael is drawn to the feisty woman and suddenly finds that it is hard to fight one's demons when Elizabeth Rufford is a part of your life.
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A good story and even better listening experience
This is a well-told and believable regency story. Elizabeth is a good female character who is engaging and authentic at the same time. Michael can be a little annoying at times but also pretty real. The plot has some twists and a fiendish antagonist but is fast paced and mostly light and funny. The fact that Elizabeth stands out from society (mainly by not wanting to conform to her designated role in society but by doing something she really likes and is good at) is, uncharacteristically for light regency books, met with a strong rejection by society, so this is not a book about how the female character wins everybody with her odd ways and magically becomes the centre of a doting group who initially rejected her. It’s a believable story specifically because all the strictures and limitations of the regency period are in place and Elizabeth and Michael have to find their way and what they want (he is also a bit of an outsider from society) despite these strictures. Even so, it’s still an easy and light read with some genuine and funny characters, leaving a good felling about it.
I was given a copy of the audio book to review and I would recommend it to everyone who enjoys regency novels. The narration is outstanding with an excellent range of voice and tone, greatly improving the listener experience. Elizabeth Klett has a way to bring the regency period to life in her narrations, leaving the listener even more pleased with a book.
- Maggie Tuliver
Narrator was great