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This is the story of The Lost Duke of Wyndham, told from the point of view of the 'sitting' duke. Essentially the current duke of Wyndham is challenged when Jack Audley, another candidate for the title, rocks up and is recognised by their harridan grandmother. The Lost Duke of Wyndham told the tale from the newcomer's point of view and this is from Wyndham's (or is he plain Mr Thomas Cavendish?). I hadn't been intending to read this once I'd read the first one - after all, I knew how the story ended - but sufficient time had elapsed and I'd forgotten a lot of the detail, so it was worth a read. This is Julia Quinn, so yes, there's a romance. Thomas has been engaged to his fiancee since they were both children, pledged by their respective fathers, and he's been putting off committing to marriage, but just as he starts to appreciate Amelia (and she him), it suddenly appears that he might not be the duke, and Amelia has been brought up to be a duchess.
As lots of the reviews have indicated, this is one half of a pair of books, with much repetition between the two. I have to say I feel this is the more believable and touching story compared to the one about Jack and Grace. Thomas' journey is not just about Amelia, it's also about identity and who he really is, underneath it all a decent chap who will do the right thing. Amelia accepts reality but wishes Thomas would see the real her. I wish they could have had some decent time together before the bombshell of Jack's identity drops on them. My favourite scene is that with the maps- overall one of the best falling in love scenes in Julia Quinn.
If you read one of the Wyndham books- read this one, it's much more satisfying than the Lost Duke
I have to agree with other reviewers on this one. I too found it repetitive and the repeating of the text meant we didn't really get to see the characters of Thomas and Amelia develop. As a consequence they remained two dimensional. It lacked the writer's usual wit as well. I said in my review of "The lost Duke of Wyndham" that I didn't like Thomas and to be honest I still didn't really like him at the end of this book. Perhaps because I didn't feel that I knew him any more than I did at the end of that last book. I liked Amelia a bit more, but just didn't find her that interesting, either. Maybe as somone else suggested these two books just have been one book, telling us the story of all four characters together. One final thought is that I didn't find the love story between these two very convincing or enjoyable. In all other JQ books I have read, there has always been a spark between the hero and heroine from the start, even if they weren't in love. These two barely acknowledged each other for years. Then suddenly Amelia fell in love with Thomas for no apparent reason and he went from ignoring her to suddenly wanting her desperately. Why? Just because he thought he wouldn't be able to marry her anymore if he wasn't the Duke? I didn't find it very romantic. If this is your first JQ book, please don't be put off though, there are definitely better ones out there.
It's probably one of my least favorite books by Julia Quinn. Everything felt rushed, hardly any truly romantic scenes and the love scene- wasn't much of one. The story happens simultaneously to the Lost Duke of Wyndam, sadly another lacking book. To make a long story short, Mr. Cavendish tries to figure out his identity as his long lost cousin comes into his life unexpectedly threatening his title and everything he's known all while he is becoming acquainted with his fiancé, betrothed to one another since infancy. Blah blah- you can kind of figure out what happens and so the book was just alright. It saddens me to leave this review as I am an avid fan of JQ, but this was not her best.
This book was nearly a copy of the previous book in the series, just seen from another person's perspective. More details about the other duke and his love. They could have been merged into one book. I jumped over most as I had just read it in The lost Duke, I think it was called.
The action of this book runs almost exactly in parallel with "The Lost Duke of Wyndham", a conceit that doesn't actually make it as easy to write as you might imagine. Having followed the lost duke and his love we now see how the events affect the man who thought for years that he was the duke.
I enjoyed seeing the story from 'the other side'. I know that some reviewers felt it was boring hearing the same story again. But I had always wondered what was going on in Thomas's and Amelia's minds and hearts. Perhaps John - the lost Duke of Wyndham - was a bit more dashing - and I really enjoyed that book. But I thought it was an interesting idea that Julia Quinn had, and for me it worked out well.