As many people who will read this already know, I am a history geek with a singular fascination with the Georgian era. This also make me a pretty harsh critic of any book set in this period. Autumn Duchess makes the fourth book I have read by author Lucinda Brant and I now declared myself a true blue fan.
In her Georgian set romances Ms. Brant recreates the lives of the Georgian nobility, allowing us to venture beyond the closed doors and hear the whispers behind painted fans,to walk as equals amongst the uppermost elite. With an impeccable eye for detail she colors the aristocratic world, from their diamond shoe buckles to their white marble mausoleums, yet still manages to portray the privileged as real people. It's fascinating and intriguing.
Whilst her stories are very much character-driven, the author does not neglect her history as each of her books conveys a sense of the real issues and events of the times, both social and political. Yet, the heart of her story forever remains the romance. In this case, it is the compellingly and emotionally drawn relationship between a beautiful grieving widow, Antonia, Dowager Duchess of Roxton, and a much younger and very independent-minded India merchant, Jonathon Strang, who is determined to have her, heedless of the scandal he creates.
"I am all for laying myself at your feet," he said with suppressed feeling. "But when I prostrate myself before you, it will not be because you are Her Grace the most noble Dowager Duchess of Roxton, but because I have decided that is where I wish to be. Youa are first and foremost uncommonly interesting, and that alone makes you deserving of my attention, but I am not blind. You are unquestionably the most beautiful woman I have ever set eyes on. And I am not immune. I find you utterly desireable. So the sooner you see me as a warm-blooded male and not a mindless, neutered functionary, the better for both of us."
Another humerous highlight was the three way internal conversation that occurs between Jonathon's brain, heart and "vital organ."
Flouting a world of strict societal dictates and marriages largely contrived for political and social gain, this unlikely pair come together with passion...and with love.
This is another highly recommended title from Lucinda Brant and an addition to my "keeper" shelf.