When Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, first meets Phoebe Marlow, he finds her dull and insipid. She thinks he is insufferably arrogant. But when a series of unforeseen events leads them to be stranded together in a lonely country inn, they are both forced to reassess their hastily formed opinions, and they begin to discover a new-found liking and respect for each other. But what Sylvester doesn’t know is that Phoebe is about to publish a novel - a novel in which all London will recognize him as the villainous ‘Count Ugolino’.
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It's finally unabridged! This is one of Heyer's best. If you're new to her books, start here. remember, Heyer wrote in the early to mid 20-th century, so her books are not full of passionate sex scenes. However, if you're looking for witty, frequently hilarious dialogue, well-developed, unforgettable characters and a story full of detail that still manages never to be tedious, you'll really enjoy this novel.
The characters! There are a lot of them, and each one is so skillfully drawn that you'll never get confused, or find yourself wondering, "now wait, who is that again?" Some, like Tom and the governess, are lovable, and some, like Fatherby, are detestable, but each one is a literary gem. If you're familiar with Heyer's work, you'll recognize some recurring character types, but in my opinion that's part of what makes her work so excellent--you may recognize some of the elements, but the story as a whole stands out and is uniquely unforgettable.
Every scene with Sylvester and Phoebe. This story is about as far as you can get from being a "boddice ripper", but there is no lack of passion between these two. Their interactions sparkle (even when Phoebe is deliberatly trying to prevent it!)
I suppose that some people might feel like the first few chapters drag. I disagree, because I think all those initial details help make the story richer. But even if you're not convinced at the outset, continue reading! You'll fall in love.
- C. Mendez
Wicked good performance!
- C. Telfair