Review - Mr. Cavendish, I Presume By Julia Quinn

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume
Julia Quinn
ISBN-10: 0060876115

Amelia Willoughby has been engaged to the Duke of Wyndham for as long as she can remember. Literally. A mere six months old when the contracts were signed, she has spent the rest of her life waiting. And waiting. And waiting . . . for Thomas Cavendish, the oh-so-lofty duke, to finally get around to marrying her. But as she watches him from afar, she has a sneaking suspicion that he never thinks about her at all . . .

It's true. He doesn't. Thomas rather likes having a fiancée—all the better to keep the husband-hunters at bay—and he does intend to marry her . . . eventually. But just when he begins to realize that his bride might be something more than convenient, Thomas's world is rocked by the arrival of his long-lost cousin, who may or may not be the true Duke of Wyndham. And if Thomas is not the duke, then he's not engaged to Amelia. Which is the cruelest joke of all, because this arrogant and illustrious duke has made the mistake of falling in love . . . with his own fiancée!

My Thoughts

Julia Quinn has long been a favorite author of mine. Not just because she writes wonderful historical romances, but because she writes them so engagingly and makes her characters and their dilemmas feel so real that they transcend time and continue to hold the reader fascinated long after the story is over.

This story in itself is nothing very original. But the treatment it receives at the hands of this veteran author, delightfully makes it a must-read. Amelia's frustration at having to conceal her intelligence and ire at her fiance's lackluster interest in her; Thomas' surprise at his would-be-bride's sharpness and sensuality; the fear and arrogance of the contender to the Duke's position - these and many other characters are brought to vivid life with a few deft sketches of the author's words.

Quinn takes the cake in describing Thomas' mixture of emotions as he realizes how much he values the burden he's long felt the dukedom to be, just when he seems to be on the verge of losing it. This loss also may or may not entail also losing the fiancee who came attached with the title, and whom he's finally grown to truly love and appreciate.

Generally in romance novels, it's the female protagonist who dominates. But here, surprisingly and with great effect, I felt the male lead also gets equal exposure and comes across a warm and very human character.

Although I always take the modern sentiments expressed by characters in historical romances with a pinch of salt (read disbelief), here they didn't seem as grating and went with the general flow of plot. The author also gives readers an interesting glimpse into the world of cartography, aka mapmaking.

The only thing that stuck me as odd was the Dowager Duchess' general ire with the world and with Thomas, in particular. Perhaps this as well as what happens to Thomas' cousin and his love story are all explained in the other book of this 2-book set, The Lost Duke of Wyndham.

PhotobucketOverall, I felt this book to be a great read and one I look forward to picking up again in the future and getting lost in that world again. In short, a fave!

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2 People said

  1. I really enjoyed the first book, The Lost Duke of Wyndham. I haven't managed to read this one yet.

  2. I have yet to read that one, Marg.


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