June 29, 2015
The saga continues.
Love Letters from a Duke. Time has moved on a few years, and now it's time our outrageous teenagers from A Rake of Her Own have their own stories. This one centers on Felicity Langley, aka "Duchess." The reason for the nickname isn't because she is actually a duchess, it's because she's rather controlling, bossy, imperious, etc. However, it is her intention that she land a duke for a husband and after conferring with her handy-dandy Bachelor Chronicle journal she has decided on the Duke of Hollindrake. When this story begins, she has been writing to the duke for four years and she has grown quite fond of him. She has been able to share her dreams and darkest secrets with him. They have become friends. Unbeknownst to Felicity, through some kind of misunderstanding she has been corresponding with the duke alright; however he's in his 80s and he has hatched a plan of his own. He is pretending to be his grandson because he wants his grandson married and settled down, so he sees nothing wrong with flaming the fires. Then he dies and his grandson, Thatcher, finds out what his grandfather has been up to. Thatcher arrives on Felicity's doorstep with the intention of telling her the whole story, but he isn't prepared to handle this imperious whirlwind miss. Felicity mistakes Thatcher for the new footman and he doesn't ever have the chance to correct her. From that point on it's a game of spider and the web. Felicity fascinates Thatcher. At first he doesn't tell her who he is - well, because he can't get a word in. But as time goes on, he falls deeper and deeper under her spell and then he's afraid to tell her. He doesn't want to lose her. He is jealous of himself, because she wants so badly to marry the "Duke."
This is another fun book. Felicity and her sister Thalia have "borrowed" the house they are living in. They lie, pick locks, pick pockets, do all kinds of spy things their absent father taught them. They are full of wise sayings which were taught to them by their nannies while growing up. The nannies, by the way, were actually their father’s paramours, so their education has not been what one would call normal.
I would have to say that this is sort of a screwball comedy with some pretty amusing secondary characters floating in and out of the scenes. Furthermore, there is nothing I find funnier than a befuddled hero. Thatcher just cannot say or do the right thing, and his timing is atrocious. I will have to say that there are some poignant moments, especially when Thatcher reads the correspondence between his grandfather and Felicity. He learns a great deal about his grandfather, he begins to see his grandfather in a different light and there is just a touch of melancholy when he wishes things could have been different between he and his grandfather. He also learns what kind of a woman Felicity is through her letters. He sees her wants and desires and makes them his own.
All in all, Felicity and Thatcher were a great couple. The arrival at the HEA was just a little over the top, but it made me smile and I do recommend this book.
Time/Place: 1814ish England