Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume

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!

Quinn's other works are MUCH better than this!

I'm upset and disappointed that this is the first book I have ever put down unfinished. If you have read The Lost Duke of Wyndham then you have already read most of Mr. Cavendish, I Presume. The Cavendish book parallels The Lost Duke book so closely, that you are literally re-reading scenes that you already know from the other book! Grant it, there is a different angle to some of it, because the focus is shifted to a different hero and heroine, but I found myself skimming and skipping several pages at a time just because I didn't see the need to re-read what I had already read (sometimes word for word!). This set was marketed as a two book series (ie. Two Dukes of Wyndham Book 2), but it is NOT a sequel or even next in a series. This book is more of a "companion" to the first. But why this story wasn't weaved into The Lost Duke of Wyndham Book 1 is anybody's guess because there was nothing stellar about the story in Book 1 to begin with. And book 2 appeared to have an even weaker storyline.

A part of me really wants to finish the book just to see how the story (and this two book series? ...set? ...duo?) end, plus the epilogue includes a snippet from Lady Whistledown! But a part of me also wants to know what Quinn and Avon Books were thinking! They tried something that clearly didn't work (hold your mouse over the bookcover to see Amazon's ratings for yourself) and upset a plethora of fans who will now think twice before choosing this author in the future. In my opinion, if they wanted to try this book selling angle, they should have released Book 2 a year or two after book 1, when The Lost Duke side of the story wasn't still fresh in everyone's mind...

Now, I'm not telling anybody to walk away from this author! Really, I'm not!! She is still one of my favorites, but skip this Two Dukes set and read everything else! OR read book 1 and save book 2 for next year. I loved all her other books. Everything and the Moon and How to Marry a Marquis being my two personal favorites. Unfortunately, this two book thing was definitely the worst of her fare and seemed like a joke compared to the caliber of her earlier works. And, on a more positive note, Ms. Quinn has redeemed herself somewhat with the release of What Happens in London, a sequel, or proper series book 2, to The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever – both of which I recommend as pleasant reads.

My rating: 2 – I did not like it

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