It is a rare thing when I can not force myself to finish a book. Sometimes this consists on skimming the last few chapters to find the ending. This book however falls into the category of Could NOT even re-open to skim the ending. I found the heroine weak and spineless. The hero was completely unredeeming. Ugh.
I can somewhat relate to some of the reviews posted. I did like the storyline, the rake of a duke was abit over the top for HR BUT I felt that what he did and said was something a lot of guys wanted to say. It did show how mean and deceiving family could be just to have a better standing in the ton and more money. I liked the banter between them. I hope that is really the way they would speak to each other when familiar. A good read.
Lighthearted, entertaining romp. There is no denying the chemistry between Miss Tabitha Timmons, the impoverished daughter of a country vicar, & the shameless rogue, the Duke of Preston. Although he is a cad & a bounder, he does come up to snuff & rescues the heroine - of course! The dialogue is sharp & fast & fun.
This has to be one of the silliest books I have read in a long time. I think it was supposed to be funny, but fell way short. The story line and the hero, heroine, and their cast of characters were fine, but the thread that tied them together was not. Of course, now that I know the characters I will have to read the next installment. I guess I am just curious to see if this saga can be redeemed in it. I marked it 'liked' because of the characters and the plot.
Fun book, with a slight Cinderella theme. Tabitha is a vicar's daughter who, upon the death of her father, was taken in by her aunt and uncle. They didn't want her, but she was part of the deal that enabled her uncle to take over the vicar's position. Tabitha has spent the last several years as her relatives' servant. That all changes when she is left a huge fortune - as long as she marries the man her late uncle picked for her, a paragon of virtue named Mr. Barkworth. Tabitha is informed of this on the same day she told an insufferable and rakish Mr. Preston that she had no wish ever to get married. Her relatives quickly have her on the road to London and the promise of a speedy marriage.
Mr. Preston, who is actually the Duke of Preston, met Tabitha when he and his friend Roxley had an accident while participating in a bet. Preston has quite the reputation for reckless behavior, and this is just one more example. His latest antics have caused him to be shunned by society, and his aunt and uncle to try to convince him to mend his ways.
From the moment that Preston and Tabitha meet, there are sparks between them. Tabitha is a spirited young woman who has had a hard time of it but accepts it and moves on. I loved the first meeting between her and Preston, where she has no trouble pushing back against his arrogance. For his part, Preston is amused by her and finds himself unable to forget her. A chance encounter on the road has them sharing a private dinner. I loved this scene as Preston teases Tabitha and she gives as good as she gets. We also get some insight into the past that affects Preston's behavior as an adult. Tabitha knows that she isn't being wise, but there is something about Preston that she can't resist.
Their next encounter is two weeks later. Preston hasn't been able to forget Tabitha. He is stunned when they meet again, and he learns of her upcoming betrothal. He is dismayed by what he sees as her relatives' attempts to turn her into another "Bath miss" and is determined to save her from such a fate. I loved his appearance at the same function that night. His outrageous behavior is great fun to watch as he pokes at the so stuffy Barksworth. I loved seeing Preston's protectiveness as he tries to save Tabitha from a miserable marriage without realizing why he feels so strongly about it. In spite of his rakish reputation, there is a very sweet side to him also. I loved the scene with the bluebells. Tabitha can't help but compare the two men, and each encounter makes it more obvious which she would rather be with. The tension picks up when Preston learns the details of the betrothal and becomes determined to save Tabitha. His methods are effective in one way, but she isn't in the clear quite yet. There is still excitement to come as Preston finally realizes why he's so protective of Tabitha. The final scenes are great fun as both Preston and Tabitha do what they must to get the future they want.
I liked Tabitha from the start. She is feisty and independent even while stuck with her miserable aunt and uncle. I enjoyed her quick wit as she traded barbs with Preston over dinner and again in London. I would have liked to see her stand up to Barksworth and her relatives a bit sooner, but she did come through in the end.
I wasn't as sure about Preston at first. He came across as spoiled and uncaring, especially when it came to the bet that started the book. I ached for him as his past was revealed and felt that maybe there was some hope for him after all. Tabitha's effect on him was huge as she inspired him to change.
I also enjoyed the supporting characters. Preston's friend Roxley is a terrific friend and is there to support him when he's most needed. I had to laugh at his fear of his Aunt Essex and the lengths he took to avoid her. I'm looking forward to seeing his story. Preston's aunt was quite a force to be reckoned with, and I really enjoyed seeing her try to save him from himself. I'm also looking forward to seeing how Preston's uncle deals with the results of the prank that Preston and Roxley have played on him. I also liked Tabitha's friends, Harry and Daphne. Harry is forthright, and some of the things she says and does are pretty amusing. There is a history between her and Roxley, and I look forward to finding out more about it. I wasn't sure about Daphne at first because of her support of Barksworth, and her dislike of Preston. As that seems to be the result of some kind of family feud, I have a feeling that she has some surprises in store for her.