Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
3.5 stars rounded up to 4
Series: The Way To A Lord’s Heart #1
Publication Date: 8/7/18
Ashford’s prose is charming and witty. The plot is unique, but certainly not period accurate. I really had to work at suspending my disbelief before I could begin to enjoy the read. The characters were likable.
I am assuming this is supposed to be a Regency romance, but there were few signs relating it to any period. The one sign was that ‘the war was over’. I’m not saying that there should always be an indicator, but it would be nice to know, for sure, what period the author intended. The entire premise of this book is inaccurate for any of the earlier time periods. The father actually owned his wife and children – just as if they were a piece of land or livestock. So, there would be no way that anybody could barge into his home and threaten to take his child from him – and threaten to call the magistrate if he didn’t comply. We also had a single young woman staying in a home with two unmarried males – without a chaperone. The chaperone was provided later, but not in the beginning. So, the book is unique and interesting, but totally improbable. So, just suspend your disbelief and enjoy the book.
Both of our main characters are very, very broken people. Benjamin was devastated by his wife’s death during childbirth five years ago and he sank into a very deep and dark depression. He couldn’t even look at his son because he looked so much like his mother. Jean is learning to cope with life on her own after both of her parents have died. She had a horrendous childhood and she is still lancing the boil that was her mother.
Miss Jean Saunders sweeps into the home of Benjamin Romilly, the Earl of Furness, like a tiny tornado. Jean is a distant cousin to Benjamin’s late wife and she has heard that their child is being mistreated, totally ignored and not properly cared for at all. She has coerced his late wife’s parents into agreeing to take the child in – all she has to do is go collect him. You can imagine Benjamin’s reaction when this total stranger barges into his home – where absolutely no visitors are welcome.
Jean is quickly followed by Benjamin’s uncle – yet another totally unwelcome guest. Benjamin sees no one. He sits in his library staring at the large portrait of his deceased wife and drinking. What are all of these people doing populating his entryway? Then, there is a loud whoop and a mostly naked five-year-old boy painted in red paint dashes in wielding a tomahawk.
Jean won’t take no for an answer when it comes to the welfare of this delightful, incorrigible, highly intelligent young boy. Either she will take him or his father will take proper care of him. It is fun to watch these two dance around each other – each brings out the other – until they find they are in accord.
The HEA is sweet, but I have to wonder if he would mourn Jean as much as he did his first wife. I know people can love more than once in a lifetime – but – I also think there is only one soulmate. So, if the first wife was the soulmate, then what does that really leave for Jean. She can’t even give him his heir – he already has that too. I don’t know – I know he loves her, but . . .
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