I was given Along Came a Duke plus And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake by the lovely Malin to help occupy me during my ongoing two-sprained-ankles-and-a-broken-foot extravaganza. Elizabeth Boyle is a new historical romance author to both of us and I found her style to be entertaining and light, but ultimately forgettable.
Along Came a Duke
Plot Summary: Preston is a duke. Tabitha is a poor relation much abused by her family. She inherits wealth, but her family tries to control her marriage choice so as to maintain control of the money. They fail.
This was the weaker of the two books. They fell in love very quickly and things went on too long. It was fun though. Fun and amusing.
And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake
Plot Summary: Romeo and Juliet with different names (Henry and Daphne) and a happy ending. Also, by turns an epistolary romance.
As a joke in Along Came a Duke, Preston placed a “wife wanted” advertisement in the newspaper for his sensible, yet wonderfully handsome uncle, Henry. Now Henry has to deal with the repercussions and ends up writing to a woman who took him to task for the ad and who just happens to be a. Tabitha’s best friend and b. a McCoy to Henry’s Hatfield.
There were some lovely moments in this book, in particular a scene at Preston and Tabitha’s engagement ball in which Henry and Daphne fall in love at first sight and without benefit of introduction. Things go awry when the truth comes out. The action then shifts to Preston’s family estate for the celebration of his wedding to Tabitha and to focus on Henry and Daphne’s “I’d like you so much better if you weren’t my sworn enemy” relationship.
It was pleasant. How’s that for damning with faint praise? Very pleasant. I was quite caught up in the story, it was funny and silly, but then it went on too long and …
I jumped ahead to the ending.
Both stories felt too immature in their own way, like books about young adults instead of grown ups. The romance was well-conveyed, but lacked weight and wasn’t successfully frivolous enough to compensate for any shortcomings. Boyle did include enough Regency-esque details to go a little bit further than most in creating a historical mood, and she should receive some sort of award for Least Annoying Play on a Nursery Rhyme in Jejeune Book Titling.