Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Widowers of the Aristocracy #3
Publication Date: 9/18/18
I think I like this series better and better with each new book. The writing is intelligent, witty, and excellently done with characters that are very likable and relatable. As a matter of fact, I loved all of the characters in the book including those in secondary roles. I particularly liked James Burroughs, the Duke of Ariley, and our heroine’s father – he is such a sweet and loving man who just wants his daughter to be happy. George and Elizabeth, Viscount and Viscountess Bostwick, were also favorites. ** Just as an aside here ** Why do we always refer to the child as illegitimate rather than the parent? Why wouldn’t we say James, illegitimate father of Daisy rather than saying Daisy, illegitimate daughter of James? Sorry, that thought just popped up.
Daisy Albright (Burroughs) is a former operative (spy) who was wounded during the wars. Since the wound has caused a noticeable limp, she has been dismissed from her position. She has spent some time at her childhood home taking a break and now she’s back in London ready to find herself a position. She’s the much-loved, illegitimate daughter of a duke, but she wants to be independent and make her own way. Her father acknowledged her at birth, gave her his name and lived exclusively with her, her mother and her sister until her mother passed away. He loved them unconditionally and even offered marriage to her mother, but she refused. Daisy loves her father but has some issues with her illegitimacy. She hasn’t even told her father she’s back in London. There is a local charity that finds positions for injured veterans and she has applied there to see if they can help her find a new position.
Theodore Streater, son, and brother to a baron lost his right arm during the war. When he returned, he wasn’t welcomed back to his bank clerk position even though he wrote with and used his left hand for all of those tasks. Thanks to Elizabeth, Viscountess Bostwick’s charity, he got his position back with the same bank and has now even been promoted to the head of clerks position. Teddy has never been close with his family, but he did dine out with her on occasion – just not as much as he should. Therefore, he was in for a complete and total shock when, upon her death, he found himself in possession of a school and a ten-thousand-pound fortune. He had no idea – he thought she worked as the headmistress at the school – and she must have lived as a miser in order to amass that fortune. He must contact Elizabeth’s charity right away for her to find a new headmistress for his school.
Elizabeth remembers that she has a female candidate that would be perfect for Teddy’s school and quickly tracks her down. Daisy is surprised that Elizabeth managed to track her to her father’s house, but is very pleased and intends to apply right away. Teddy and Daisy are immediately attracted to each other and he hires her almost with an interview. The story is off and running from there – poor Teddy finds his fortune isn’t quite what he thinks – and Daisy finds that she can fall in love and want to marry and have children.
It really is a lovely read – I even loved the chapter titles. One thing that I didn’t particularly care for was that Teddy immediately jumped to the conclusion that Daisy was someone’s mistress. During that period, I cannot imagine that anyone would immediately jump to that conclusion about a respectable, well-bred young woman. Teddy had no clue that Daisy was illegitimate and I just didn’t see any reason for it. Another thing I didn’t particularly care for was Daisy’s last mission as a spy. I cannot imagine a well-bred young woman accepting that mission – nor can I imagine the spymasters giving her that mission knowing her father was a very powerful duke. As you can see from my rating, neither of those things bothered me very much.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”