The Duke’s Holiday by Maggie Fenton
Publisher’s Description: The cold, precise Duke of Montford demands things his way: neatly ordered, in place, and adhering closely to the rules. So he is furious when he learns that the tenant of his ducal estate has been dead for a year, and a stranger has been running the Honeywell business—which, by contract, is now Montford’s. When he arrives in Yorkshire to investigate, he discovers that the estate is being run by an unruly, tomboyish woman—and a bluestocking at that!
Fiery redhead Astrid Honeywell is independent and educated. She’s been handling the Honeywell family business for years. And she’s not about to relinquish it to anyone—not even Montford—because of some archaic contract.
Montford and Astrid have an instant hatred for one another…and an undeniable, unspeakable attraction. They must resist this improper desire—after all, Montford has a fiancée in London. But when Astrid’s life is placed in terrible danger, Montford finds he may be willing to risk everything to save her.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Main characters: ♥♥♥♥ The characters were real. The hero was not all that heroic. He did what he thought he should and didn’t have every skill to achieve the end result. He was a pretentious, bottled up, stuffed shirt. He thought he knew it all but just because you succeed in business doesn’t always mean you have the emotional base to deal with people who do not work for you. Cyril or Montford. as he required everyone to call him, was a fantastic example of a typical arrogant, self important man. He was flawed, fussy and not at all used to anything outside his scope of money, city living and appearance. He made the perfect hero – mainly because he had to WORK for it. Astrid, on the other hand, was born way too far before her time. She would be unstoppable in today’s time. She embodied strength, single mindedness, brilliant mind and a knowledge of economics that made most of the people of her era very uncomfortable and threatened. The best part was she was also flawed and headstrong.
Other characters: ♥♥♥♥ Astrid’s aunt and Astrid’s pet Petunia were the comedy relief. Astrid’s other aunt on her mother’s side was the ‘holier than thou’ sort and it was fun to watch her being put into her place – more than once! Cyril, or Montford, had two friends that loved him for who he was, not for what he could get for them. True friends are hard to find and he had the best.
World: ♥♥♥♥ The world was true to history, I think. There was a lot of slang that was used in that period, so that made the story even more interesting. The laws that benefited the male heirs were shown as how unfair they really were. Also, the points in the book that really caught me off guard was the reference of cousins marrying cousins and the relationship of true aristocracy inbreeding. Usually, that is never commented on in other regencies.
Story: ♥♥♥♥ The story was amazingly executed. It flowed quickly and it never slowed down. The main characters were doomed from the beginning since fate had already paired them. It was fun to watch them struggle to not be drawn into a relationship when in reality, they were running in quick sand. Think of irresistible force meets immovable object and you have the dynamics of this couple in one sentence. There was the requisite harm to come to the heroine in order to shake some sense into the hero. There were typical regency era theatrics and of course the bowing and scraping to those that would be above me in station.
Overall: ♥♥♥♥ If you like regency romances that are a little more true to history, I think this is certainly a series worth investing in. Great characters, lots of action, and maybe even a little education in history thrown in for good measure. I fully believe that when we see book number 2 and 3 showcase those two ‘confirmed’ bachelors, we will again be enthralled in the fun and excitement of this dysfunctional ‘family’ unit. And…..if Montford and Astrid would also grace those pages, the ride would be out of this world.
If You Like This Book …
The next in the series will be released approximately October 2015. Virtuous Scoundrel will be the second of the trilogy released by Maggie Fenton.
No promotional consideration was granted for this review.