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Splendid (Blydon Book 1) Kindle Edition
From the Back Cover
You've met the Bridgertons . . . now discover the Blydon Family Saga. In Julia Quinn's witty, delightful debut, one scandalous Season will change two lives forever.
There are two things everyone knows about Alexander Ridgely. One, he's the Duke of Ashbourne. And two, he is determined to avoid marriage. That is until a redheaded American throws herself in front of a carriage to save his young nephew's life . . .
American heiress Emma Dunster has agreed to participate in just one London season. She's determined to then return to Boston to run her father's shipping company. But Emma's cousins are just as determined to see her settle in England.
Sparks fly and Ton gossip spreads like wildfire when these two terribly determined people cross paths during one very splendid London spring . . .
'Quinn is a master of historical romance' Entertainment Weekly
[thumbnails Dance at Midnight and Minx]
- ASIN : B000FC28BC
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books (17 March 2009)
- Language : English
- File size : 706 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 400 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0380780747
- Best Sellers Rank: #53,458 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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First, there are at least 12 instances of witty characters muttering under their breath, to which other characters reply by not listening or understanding. Long sentences muttered under breath, continuously, by all the witty characters, it stops being clever fairly quickly. I say "at least 12" because I started counting at the time I realised it kept happening, but couldn't be bothered to count backwards.
The characters; I hated all of them. Except maybe Belle, but I'm not sure if I truly like her or its just comparison to some truly irritating people.
The book starts with the main character making it clear she will one day take over her father's business, contrary to expectations of the time. It was an interesting start, but as it turned out, this was nothing but a description of a character quirk, as we never see her making efforts to lead the business again (or even see her father again). The same can be said for the fact that the main female character is described as being good at shooting, climbing, mathematics, but bad at watercolours, embroidery and singing. None of this is relevant to the plot at all and she never displays any of that prowess or is asked to perform any of her weaknesses, they just show how Emma is not like ~other girls~. Also, she considers herself unattractive and yet as soon as she steps into a ballroom all men are enraptured and beg to be presented. Cause y'know "You don't know you're beautiful. And that's what makes you beautiful".
Speaking of ~other girls~, the main male character is a misogynist. Not "a man of his time" or the "cynical disillusioned rake" but just a straight up misogynist and his back story is not traumatic enough to justify this. As a historical fiction reader, I am familar with the trope of the cynical duke who believes women are after his title and fortune and I have seen some truly brilliant takes on it (classic one being Heyer's Arabella). However, this is not an instance where the cynical duke jumps to conclusions when it looks like a woman is purposefully putting herself in his way, this is someone who hates all women, except his family, and is actively rude - until he is saved by Emma who isn't like ~other girls~.
The male best friend: I thought I liked him, he looked like the classic genial best friend who is amused at the main characters' amorous issues. Until at a ball he overhears that the two women main characters are planning something and he so lacks trust on their ability to do anything correctly that he very aggressively demands information from one of the women, threatens to actually ruin her reputation (read: potentially ruin her ability to get married) in order to get that information, then rushes to the location of the plan where, as it turns out, things were well in hand. In fact, the two men actually delay the escape and if all their dire predictions had come true, it likely would have been their fault. Not that this is ever addressed.
Finally, some historical nitpicking: a dialogue makes a big scene where the two main characters discuss use of first names and permission or lack thereof to do so. This is followed by several instances of the duke refering to Emma's aunt and uncle by their first names (shouting as well), regardless of the fact that the beginning of the book makes it clear they are not well acquainted. Ditto with Belle.
Not to mention ignoring perfectly normal things like receiving lines at balls in order to stage a shocking encounter, indiscriminate waltzing (scandal!) and several abandoned plot points that go nowhere and just seem to continually highlight how Emma is not like ~other girls~.
A very unpleasant experience
It's been a fair few years since I've read this. Overall it remains a light and easy read that I enjoyed. I did want more from the hero but the heroine I really liked. Wish there had been a scene with her father in England.
There is a moment where the hero is a serious ass and much more grovelling was needed.
Secondary characters in here that amuse/entertain