Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review: Miss Amelia Lands a Duke by Sandy Raven

Title: Miss Amelia Lands a Duke
Series: The Caversham Chronicles
Author: Sandy Raven
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: October 2, 2014
Publisher: Sandy Raven, LLC

Spinster Amelia accepts a position as a companion to her social-climbing aunt who is planning her next wedding before she is even out of mourning for her second husband. And the man her aunt is stalking is none other than the wealthy widower, the Duke of Caversham.

Horrified by her aunt’s behavior, Amelia decides to hide away in their host’s library and gardens for the duration of their visit. On an evening walk through the maze she meets an older gentleman who intrigues and arouses her. She flees without learning his name, only to stumble across that same handsome gentleman in the library days later, where to Amelia's astonishment, he kisses her. And she kisses him back!

Amelia and the duke are caught in their passionate embrace by her aunt. Embarrassed at her own wanton behavior, Amelia flees the room believing he’s used her to avoid her aunt. After confronting her aunt, the duke does what he believes is the honorable thing and makes plans to marry Amelia.

Only he never asks her.

My rating:

***eBook available for free on Amazon***

Amelia travels to a country party as her aunt’s companion, while the woman tries to snare a duke. While exploring a maze in order to clear her head, Amelia stumbles upon a handsome, older-than-her gentleman, but flees before they’re introduced.

The next night, she once more stumbles upon the man, this time in the library, where he kisses her, and, once her aunt discovers them, Amelia learns the gentleman whose kiss she’s been enjoying is the duke her aunts plans to marry.

The story started off well, but soon lost its grip with reality. And since we’re speaking of a fictitious story, the accusation is grave indeed. From the tableau in the library, this story went from interesting to unrealistic and almost bizarre in a matter of pages. (Although I did enjoy the slapping incident at the end of the encounter in the library.)

The whole premise with the lust-at-first-sight turning into an offer of marriage turning into love with a spattering of familial reunions along the way happened too fast for it to be even remotely realistic. While I enjoyed the heroine and her stubbornness and “independence” wasn’t annoying, it was the hero and his constant internal monologues about him maybe getting old that got old fast and became annoying even faster.
I also didn’t care much about the, albeit short lived, misunderstanding and the a little longer-lived “indecision” about accepting the marriage proposal and the incessant debates that elicited.

I felt the story was short enough to curb any deeper characterization and plotting, so the fillers in form of the above-mentioned misunderstanding and debating about not-accepting-for-not-being-properly asked created additional and completely unnecessary drama and conflict while not actually benefitting the story or its pacing.


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