The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn
The Two Dukes of Wyndham #1
I hadn’t read Julia Quinn in ages, and when I happened upon The Lost Duke of Wyndham in the library I thought why not, I’m going to need something light and quick to read at work. This book filled that need immensely well, and it’s a very accomplished book. However, it failed to make me sit up and take notice.
It really isn’t a bad book in any way. The plotting is solid despite the somewhat dramatic main event, the characters are likeable, and the emotion is believable. I’m not sure why it all failed to whisk me away. Usually I take a lot of notes on romance novels while reading; the only things I’ve written down about this one are “it’s good” and some comments on tropes and conventions I think may be useful to remember if I ever need to find a book with said tropes and conventions.
Quinn makes me laugh and smile – although this one isn’t as hilarious as, say, Ten Things I Love About You – but also adds seriously elements, such as the heroine’s situation in life and the hero’s changing circumstances. There are some elements that I don’t buy, such as the freedoms Grace is allowed even by her strict employer, especially when it is repeatedly brought up how little freedom she has, but on the other hand the way her and Jack’s perceptions of society as opposed to one’s personal life are excellently written. Overall, I feel the balance between historical accuracy and modern thinking is too much in favour of the modern – but on the other hand, Quinn is very careful not to place the story in history, making this a romance rather than a historical romance; although a Regency author, this novel could be situated to many points in time instead of one particular one.
I give this book four stars. It would get five if I had gotten immersed; as it is, it’s a very accomplished novel but lacks passion and pull.