Barbara’s Review — 5 of 5 Stars
Word Candy! Pure unadulterated word candy is the best description for this book. The prologue is so very sweet and lovely – what a delightful way to meet your future! I believe David is my very favorite of the heroes so far. Why is he my favorite – well, there are a lot of reasons, but his complete, unequivocal and very vocal support of Fanny in every way is the biggest. Yes, his conscience troubled him about a promise he made to his father, but once he made up his mind, it was Fanny all the way.
David Langley, Earl of St Ives first met Frances (Fanny) Snowden shortly after the death of his father. He was bereft beyond belief and the young housemaid he met lightened his day – and her memory lightened the months afterward. She was so delightful, sweet, and awkward. It is too bad that she is a housemaid because that means there could be no relationship between them – that is one reason he told her he was a steward. None of that, however, kept him from kissing her before they parted that day.
Four months later Fanny, sister to the Duchess of Clare, is attending a ball during her first season when she sees the steward she’d met months earlier. What is a steward doing at a ball? Perhaps the same thing as a housemaid! When they are formally introduced, each of them knows they must talk.
David and Fanny speak about their initial meeting and continue to meet and speak. Poor Fanny is such a klutz that she’s always tripping or falling and both she and David are abysmal dancers. No matter the issue, they have high regard for each other and that regard quickly turns into love.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a romance if there weren’t obstacles thrown in the way and David and Fanny had some big ones. Some examples? David’s family’s marriage expectations; his death-bed promise to his father; deep enmity between David and Fanny’s family. Some of those obstacles could become life-threatening.
Several things occur and Fanny and her sister, Ivy, Duchess of Clare, leave London for the Clare country seat – Stour. Then, Fanny travels on to attend her youngest brother’s wedding. Fanny’s parents are just gosh-awful! When David shows up to ask for Fanny’s hand, fisticuffs ensue. David takes Fanny back to Stour where the real danger lurks.
As perfect as I thought this book was, there were still some things that niggled at me. Now – please note the word ‘niggled’ and also note that this is a 5-star review. These are just small things that I noticed that didn’t seem to be complete – they did not take away from my enjoyment of the book.
*** First and probably the biggest is Fanny’s father’s sudden change of heart. That just isn’t realistic. Had he said that he’d been thinking about things since her angry departure and that he wanted to make amends with her and Ivy, then you could see that. But – the way it was presented he just had this grand epiphany and all was right with the world.
*** Second is the whole Miss Stokes thing. I understand the need for the stress to Fanny & David’s relationship, but we didn’t have to actually meet Miss Stokes for that.
*** Third, Jacob, Fanny’s brother seems to have had this sudden change of personality, but there is no explanation for it.
*** The races – much was made of them and they were started, but then there was no mention of them continuing, the outcomes, etc.
*** Sarah was missing from the wedding and we didn’t get a real explanation.
I highly recommend this book – and the series if you haven’t read any of the other books. It is well written and we’ve come to know the characters throughout the series. It is as if we were saying hello to old and valued friends. The ending is very exciting – you’ll love it!