Tamar Burduli Burduli itibaren Warwick QLD 4370, Avustralya
There's a problem with great secondary characters. Sometimes, they take over. I enjoyed Grace and Jack's story to be sure, but I kept hoping there'd be more about Thomas and Amelia. Which is good, because their book is coming out in two months rather than next summer. The Lost Duke opens with Grace Eversleigh traveling with her employee, the Dowager Duchess of Wyndham. I've read the companion with an annoying noble employer before, but I have to say the Dowager was on a whole other level of pain in the ass. The fact that Grace not only puts up with it, but lets it slide over her most of the time is both a testament to her character and shows that she clearly doesn't feel like she has much choice in the world. She has to put up with the Dowager because there's no other place for her. Grace and the Dowager are accosted by a highwayman who is, naturally, charming and probably handsome (it's dark, there's a mask). Something about this man makes the Dowager sit up and look closer -- his bottom features are almost an exact match for her long dead son. And so begins the story. Jack Audrey (born Cavendish) is indeed the son of the Dowager's middle son. His father perished at sea, and his mother died shortly after his birth. The reader is let in on this very early in the book so the suspense of that moment is done with. Will he take his place as the Duke or will he allow the current duke, Thomas, to continue as he has so ably? I liked this book. I'm not surprised by that fact, of course. JQ's one of my favorite authors and I don't believe I've come across anything by her that I don't love to pieces. (I even thoroughly enjoyed the last Bridgerton book, though some of my friends felt the series had run its course a few books earlier. Crazy people.) The characterizations were great, though yes, sometimes Jack was just a bit too charming. If only the men in my life had that problem, right? I think that this book could have easily been an A grade, except I think Amelia and Thomas stole the story in a lot of places. Where I should have focused on Grace and Jack, I was more interested in what could come out of Thomas's mouth or how Amelia might react. That's the problem with some characters. You bring them onto the stage but then they kind of direct the action from there. Another excellent addition to my bookshelf, of course, and I've already marked my calendar for September 30 and the next book, Mr. Cavendish, I Presume.
*four and a half stars* I really, really enjoyed this novel. It was very different from the other YA paranormal novels I've read recently and that's refreshing. Kate was a delightful and real character and she was the kind of kid I'd have loved to hang out with. My only complaint was that I wished some of the questions had been answered as you were reading instead of waiting until the very end to explain it all. Other than that, I truly loved this book.