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I kind of dislike that a main step in this story is given away by the very title and description, since it wasn’t expected and took part of the suspense and anticipation away with the knowledge of it. That fact is my ONLY complaint about this book. I love a Cinderella story, can live with rather implausible ideas and find a refreshingly uplifting enjoyment in knowing the HEA is on its way. This book delivered it all!!!!
The narration was superb!
Steam Factor nonexistent and it didn’t matter.
Creditworthy, I know I got what I wanted! Yes.
Lonely orphan Rosamund is living with her aunt and uncle and three cousins in a small village outside London. She's treated like a maid in a household that should be her loving home. When her cousins leave for London to attend the season, Rosamund is sent to work for a neighbor, the Dowager Duchess of Swanhaven. The Duchess's grandson suffered a loss, and his grief and pain are overwhelming. As Rosamund works to draw him out of his misery, she begins to lose her heart to the Duke.
I love a good fairy tale and Regency romance mash up! This one had subtle references to Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, with a dash of the Secret Garden. It was a sweet clean romance with two lovable main characters. Aubrey called himself a Beast, but it's not his appearance or his manners that made him one, but the deep torment from losing his family in such a tragic way. Rosamund was a true Beauty inside, and was the perfect person to bring him back to life, spurring him on with alternating charm and slight digs. I liked that they didn't instantly fall in love, but grew to respect each other over time.
I absolutely love books about dressmaking and the outfits women wore in that era, and the second half was full of those details. Although I've read books from the dressmaker's point of view, I've never read about a living mannequin before. It was an interesting spin on the usual Regency balls. It was well written and kept me laughing at the sparring between Aubrey and Rosamund, and Aubrey and Joe. A wonderful story!
I loved the narration, Stevie Zimmerman performed a different voice for each character and they were a perfect fit. She always makes listening a pleasure. I requested a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review.