This book was SO REFRESHING in all the right ways!
More often than not, Romance novels, let alone Historical Romance novels, focus on the younger generation...and by that I mean characters that are younger, think teens of twenties at the latest. It's almost like anyone 30 or older (unless it's a potential male suitor) is, dare I say it, an old maid. Don't scoff, you know it's true! In fact, there was a particular series by a particular well-known author that featured a particular female mayor that cropped up in almost every book in the series, aiding the potential couple and the town in some sort of almost magical way, yet never had a book/story to call her own...and according to this particular author, the very reason was because no one wanted to read the love story of someone a bit older. *raised eyebrow* I beg to differ! First, she was mature not decrepit/decaying, and second, the seasons of life she's seen can give her character a different perspective, such as we see here.
Author Laurie Benson gives us a story filled with humor, wit, temptation, and potentially scandalous near misses that warms the heart, quickens the pulse, and brings a smile to your face. The leading lady is 30+ (we shall not disclose the exact number as it is a lady's right to share or not), and her potential suitor is junior to her senior (though not in a distance of decades or anything), but as anyone can see (unless they are in denial...hello Clara!) they are a PERFECT MATCH! Funny how love can find you when you weren't even looking...and for these two, watching their "dance" (both literally and figuratively) was a wonderful way to wile away my evenings (only two...and only just; it was hard to put down!).
Clara was strong and formidable but in a genteel way that allowed those in her circle to see exactly what she wanted them to see...and not the shrewd, intelligent businesswoman underneath because goodness, a woman owning a business that isn't sewing, ribbons, or something else considered lady's work...absurd! I adored seeing her strengths as well as her weaknesses...which apparently include her nieces, her friends, her adorable dog, and a particular man that cuts a fine figure both clothing wise and monetarily. Speaking of the man, William Lane does indeed have his issues...but none of them are in relation to the age difference between him and our gal Clara, nor her desire to remain financially secure, nor her impetuous little dog, but rather his own hazy past, his desire to be seen as successful (almost) at all costs, and his ability to swallow his pride and make the first move. Nothing insurmountable, if they don't want them to be...
All in all, it was a wonderful story with little surprises here and there to keep you on your toes as you navigate the varying paths of the heart within. A must read for Historical Romance fans, teen years and older...as I am suspecting the series is as well...though I intend on finding out for myself!
UP FOR GRABS...
(2) paperback editions of
His Three-Day Duchess by Laurie Benson