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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
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  • Exquisite! Every one is five stars!

    DESPERATELY SEEKING SCANDAL is a novella that tells a complete story. Ada, Colin, and Samuel – Colin’s brother – are all flawed, and wonderfully human: Colin is a tad flippant, Ada of the steel backbone and self-doubts, and the absolutely lovely Samuel. DESPERATELY SEEKING SCANDAL is about being true to yourself and doing what is and feels right, while taking a look at society gossip. I loved all the period details about the small publishing house, and the inevitable horses; it is also a story about words and secrets.The romance between Colin and Ada is exquisite, the dialogues witty, and the prose luminous. DESPERATELY SEEKING SCANDAL is a delectable indulgence, as comforting and sweet as the caramels Ada and Colin enjoy so much. In THE PRODIGAL DUKE, Theresa Romain tackles ropewalking, something I knew nothing about, and the author made it quite exciting, even if I felt a bit like Leo! Leo is a charming rogue, he is so nice that Poppy doesn’t even bear a grudge for what he did six years before, and it was for a good cause. Poppy’s backstory is heartbreaking, but she has a backbone of steel, and they do make a most wonderful couple. The ever delightful Theresa Romain spins a tale so touching, and characters so endearing that I was hurting for them, and I embraced Leo and Poppy with open arms. Apart from the marvellous romance, Ms. Romain peppers her tale with some very witty dialogue; Leo has quite a sense of humour. Ms. Romain paints such a vivid picture of the masquerade and the Vauxhall Gardens that it made me wonder if the author was a time-traveller! All kidding aside, THE PRODIGAL DUKE feels like a concentrated novel: the characters display unusual depth; there’s the precarious relationship between Leo and Ubie as well as lovely moments, scary moments, a revolting villain, and Oh my, the romance! MY SCANDAOUS DUKE has a brilliant plot twist I don’t recall ever having seen before. Nick, the Duke of Hamphire, is one of the most complex characters I have ever seen: he takes the duties that come with his title very seriously, he’s extremely meticulous and orderly, and still a bit of a rogue. He’s also very playful, and sometimes a bit too impetuous for the good of those around him; he doesn’t always think before he acts. Ellie has always loved Nick, he’s the reason why she had married Palmer, and even if she still sees Nick as a friend, she’s not going to make the same mistake twice; Nick is too much like her late husband. Ellie is a lovely character, and Ms. Romain conveys beautifully the melancholy that lingers in Ellie’s heart, which is not always apparent to everyone. It was so easy to identify with her; through the sunny, witty banter she engaged with Nick, there remained a touch of resignation and sadness to her.Theresa Romain’s prose is as light and shimmering as butterfly wings, MY SCANDALOUS DUKE is all delicate pastels, and gorgeously written, with a glorous ending. THOSE AUTUMN NIGHTS relates how Bertram Gage and Eliza Greenleaf, who were once lovers, are reunited ten years later. Bertie and Eliza are simply sublime, and Florian, the French butler, is an outstanding secondary character. Ms. Romain’s prose is luminous and very eloquent, making everything comes to life before our very eyes. It’s a wonderful story tinged with melancholy, where shadows give way to light, and hope replaces regrets, showing that love can be as fragile as a dry leaf.

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