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its just okay.What i dont understand is that why everyone novel of julia quinn is now a confirmed bachelor and is desperate to avoid marriage and then sees a maid , Kisses it and voila he is determined to have the girl.and a girl who is a virgin offers herself to him and then do not want to marry him.Just a story of false turmoil of not wanting to marry and wanting to have the girl.Not interesting enough.I do not recommend buying it
I am not the biggest fan of Julia Quinn but I quite enjoy her novels; they are usually pleasant and entertaining. Not so this novel. I found myself quite literally hate-reading this book. From style of writing to plot choices and charatcters, a lot of it rubbed me the wrong way. 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~.
Alexander Ridgely, Duke of Ashbourne versus Emma Dunster, American shipping heiress. This does feel like a battle – of wills if nothing else. Alex does not want to marry until he absolutely must to ensure the succession. He's 29 now and is quite happy to have at least anther decade of carefree bachelorhood. Emma has been persuaded to travel to England to enjoy one London season with her cousins, but she fully intends to return to Boston to (eventually) take over her father's shipping business (even though her gender will put her at a serious disadvantage). So when the two fall instantly in lust this creates a big problem. Alex is a controlling arse at first – all he wants is sex and doesn't deem to mind that Emma is an innocent. (There were times when I really didn't like Alex.) Emma is young (20) and inexperienced, and she lets her hormones turn her brain to mush. Both families are desperately trying to match-make. There's also a second half plot that seems a bit unrealistic… but what am I talking about? Is Regency Romance ever realistic? This was Julia Quinn's first published novel (1995) so it's perhaps not surprising that her later ones are better. This is a bit unsubtle, with a few historical missteps, but nothing dreadful. It's fun and interesting to see where she started out.
Emma, an American heiress, goes to London to visit her cousins for a season. She looks forward to just enjoying her time with Belle and Ned, and has no plans for acquiring a English husband. She has plans to take over her fathers shipping company in America no matter what Boston society may think. Alexander Ridgely, the Duke of Ashbourne, was immediately drawn to the lovely red-haired woman he was injured saving his nephew's life. She intrigued by him, when he realises she is more than she said she was he finds himself even more curious and unable to keep away, even though he has no desire to marry.
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.
This might as well be set in contemporary America, with characters speaking of debuts rather than come-outs, saying Quit for stop, and, worst of all, calling each other chap. No one said 'chap' without prefacing it with an article or modifier - that chap, old chap, but never chap. Why write an alleged historical novel with no sense of history? Why set a novel in England yet not even try to approximate English dialogue?
Have been reading this series of Julia Quinn books in quite a haphazard order but have found them all very entertaining. She has a lovely simple way of describing characters and scenes which instantly draws the reader into the story. Splendid was her first novel and I found it quite charming. It tells of an American lady who is sent to England to experience a London season. We are instantly introduced to the Blydon family who Emma is to stay with who also happen to be her cousins. The tale is of Emmas determination not to fall for an English aristocrat, which of course she does. Enter Alex, the Duke of Ashbourne,gorgeous,available and seemingly not in the least bit interested in finding a wife until he claps eyes on the American beauty. It is a lovely feelgood tale and I hate to admit, I was weeping at the end which for me is a sure sign of a very enjoyable novel! Highly recommended.
I'm normally a big Julia Quinn fan, but I just couldn't get into this one. I quite like the h&h, but all they seem to do is argue. They both seemed a bit immature and very pleased with themselves. I think the main problem I have with it is the hero's motivations. Right at the beginning, the heroine saves his nephew's life, then the hero seems to decide that although he has no intention of marrying her, he is going to pursue and seduce her. It just seems quite cruel and ungrateful considering at this time this would probably leave her socially ruined. Although there were bits I liked, the story just didn't cut it for me. If you're trying this author for the first time, then try one of her other ones as this isn't her best by far.