Series: Delightful Doings in Dudley Crescent #2
Publication Date: 6/17/19
This book had one of the most delightful heroes (Baldwin Summers, Earl of Cartwell) I’ve read in a very long time. He had a very poor childhood, cruel parents and a wastrel for an older brother. Did he do the woe-is-me routine? NO! Did he become the biggest rake in the ton? NO! Did he run off to war thinking he’d just die there? NO! Does he have low self-esteem and let others run over him because he feels inadequate? NO! He is a wonderfully well-rounded, caring, loving, self-confident man. He deals wonderfully with his termagant of a mother and he is honest and honorable. You just don’t get much better than that. For me, he is what made the book enjoyable. By the way – contrary to the book blurb – I didn’t find him bemused at all.
Baldwin has the nickname Win because that is what he does. He is a hero extraordinaire from the Napoleonic wars – a brilliant leader and superb tactician who cared for his men and treated them well. When Win’s best friend and former fellow soldier dies, he leaves Win as guardian to his 8-year old daughter and her dog and monkey. She’s a delight and Win quickly comes to care for her and fully plans to do his best by her and her pets. First thing on the agenda is to find a governess – but – he’s been through so many interviews and just can’t find that perfect one. Most of them run out of the room screaming when they meet the monkey. Then, his friend’s wife recommends someone and Win agrees to interview her – he doesn’t hold out much hope, but he’ll give it a try. Poor Win is in total shock and disbelief when he walks into his parlor for the interview and there is an absolute angel in pink standing before him. ** I loved the scene when Win first interviews Isabelle – it is so cute **
Miss Isabelle Swanson’s life was one of pampered luxury until an unscrupulous steward took advantage of her grandfather’s dementia. She fully intends to recover everything, but she needs money to do it, so she applies for a governess position. She’s delighted to meet the child who will be her charge and the animals who give her comfort.
I really liked Isabelle, but I did have trouble identifying with her plight. I could see absolutely no reason for her to feel she had to do the task alone. She would have lost her home and everything in it before she would have asked for help from people with far more knowledge and resources than she had. She was portrayed as a very intelligent and sensible person and that part of her actions just didn’t fall into the intelligent or sensible bucket.
I enjoyed the read and the characters were delightful. I particularly liked Shrew, the butler, and Daphne, Win’s ward.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.