Having been the sole provider for her family since she was 16, Lady Annabelle Wyatt knows an awful lot about responsibility but sadly, very little about love. Richard Armstrong is just back from serving in the Army and is having difficulty filling his deceased father's shoes, as the new Duke of Hampshire.
Richard is enamoured from the moment he sets eyes on the hard working Annabelle but she is far too bound by duty to admit that she reciprocates his feelings. With a little meddling from Richard's mother, love seems to blossom between the pair, only to be threatened by Annabelle's vengeful brother. Can Richard and Annabelle find lasting happiness, or will her brother's wrath separate them permanently?
Oh dear. Where to start?
Not far into this book, Annabelle was referred to as Lady Wyatt. That's her mother's title; she is simply Lady Annabelle. A little research (or reading other regencies) would have given the author this information. As would an editor. This book is badly in need of one. Why the Duke had to find a career was questionable as was why he had to "apply" to join Parliament. He's a Duke for heaven's sake!
There were many other problems with the book - and I haven't even gotten to the plot! Way too many inclusions of modern words and phrases that would never have been known in the book's time period. There was one case where the wrong word was used. The Duchess, talking about her children, referred to her "prodigy" and it should have been "progeny."
The story itself was a bit odd. The relationship was strange and it seems odd that the Duchess would put up with it. I don't want to give too much away but they don't sleep alone. Just strange.
I read a lot of regencies. This one was not good.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I would recommend this book to a mature friend looking for "let's pretend," with relatable situations.
Would you be willing to try another book from Catherine Winchester? Why or why not?
I would, because it took me into another time, but made the characters very human, complete with real consequences.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Yes. It was gentle and real, simple yet elegant in its honesty.
Was The Reluctant Duchess worth the listening time?
Yes. I loved the reader's ability to relate each of the character's personal beliefs, thereby making the majority of the characters ones that you can sympathize with in their individual points of view.
Any additional comments?
Even though this story is unembellished, my highest compliment is that I feel that the reader was able to carry this story despite that.
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