Series: A Proper Romance #2
Genres: Historical Romance
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Lord Fenton is a gambler, a dandy, and a flirt—and he must marry or else he will be disinherited, stripped of his wealth and his position. He chooses Alice Stanbridge for two simple reasons: he once knew her as a young girl, and she is the least objectionable option available to him.
However, Alice has harbored feelings for Fenton since their first meeting ten years ago, and she believes his proposal is real. When she discovers it is not, she is embarrassed and hurt. However, a match with the most-eligible bachelor in London would secure not only her future but that of her family as well.
Determined to protect herself from making a fool of herself a second time, Alice matches Lord Fenton wit for wit and insult for insult as they move toward a marriage of convenience that is anything but a happy union. Only when faced with family secrets that have shaped Fenton’s life does he let down his guard enough to find room in his heart for Alice. But can Alice risk her heart a second time?
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’m thrilled to be a part of Josi S. Kilpack’s blog tour for her historical romance, Lord Fenton’s Folly. There’s an excerpt, my review, and a fantastic giveaway – enjoy!
Fenton groaned and put his saucer back on the tray, making an instantaneous decision that eased his mind quite a lot. To look at every woman he met as a potential wife was irritating, and after only two weeks he was quite tired of it. Perhaps the solution was to orchestrate a match that would not lay all aspects of matrimony at his feet all at once. Perhaps treating it as a business arrangement would help it to be exactly that, thereby freeing him from all the discomfiting realities he was not yet prepared to face. “I leave for Fentonview on Tuesday and shan’t be back for a week. Courting is such a boring prospect, and you yourself said that to become infatuated with anyone might become a complication.” He paused, considered one last time what he was going to say next, and decided he felt as good about it as could be expected. “You like Alice Stanbridge and feel she would make a good wife for me?”
Lady Chariton looked confused and perhaps a bit concerned. “I do, but-”
“Then that is good enough for me,” Fenton said, rising to his feet and smiling broadly at his mother, who stared back at him in surprise. “I do find her appealing and what’s more she is not a silly little thing without a practical thought in her head.”
His mother’s eyes widened and her eyebrows rose upon her forehead. Fenton struck a pose of consternation, with his thumb and forefinger on his chin as he looked toward the window a moment, then nodded crisply and turned back to his mother who still looked shocked by his pronouncement.
“Yes, I think that Alice Stanbridge is exactly what I should like in a wife, and so I shall see to it before I leave for Hampshire-I see no reason to wait until Michaelmas and might as well get it over with.” He leaned in and kissed his mother’s hand. “Thank you for your help, Mama. I shall let you know how she responds to my proposal.”
Lord Fenton’s Folly starts out with a quick scene when the main characters were much younger and the trigger to Alice’s infatuation with Charles. Charles is inquisitive and mischievous while Alice isn’t quite the proper ten-year-old lady she’s supposed to be. I’m really glad this scene was included because I had to reflect back on the characters in this likeable moment quite often as they both had some really unlikeable qualities in their next encounter years down the road.
So Charles has become a wastrel and is determined to stick it to his hypocrite dad, but when dad threatens to cut him off financially unless Charles bends to his terms—learning to take over the family duties and getting married—Charles decides to change his tune. Alice has harbored a crush on Charles since their meeting years ago, and when she has her season in London, she hopes to run into Charles. Which she does, and when Charles quickly asks her to marry him, everyone is a little shocked. Only after the engagement is in place does Alice discover the requirements Charles must fulfill, and that he chose her to marry because she was the least objectionable woman he knew.
Alice is crushed, but since her family is facing financial ruin, she sticks with the engagement, even when she learns Charles has no intention of bedding her until he feels he’s ready for an heir. From that point on, I had a hard time pushing through the story. Alice is bitter and her needling of Charles got tiresome fast. Charles is, quite frankly, a selfish jerk. I understood why he was so disrespectful to his father, but he had little regard for anyone else besides his mother. His mother was the one character I liked at that point. The relationship continued on this way for far too long, but once Charles’ mother fell ill and they transferred from London to her country house, the pace picked up. Since both Charles and Alice loved his mother, they joined forces, and when family secrets arose, things got much more interesting. There’s minimal romance (not even kissing), but it was nice to finally see the characters turn around and work together.
Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney award for Mystery/Suspense in 207 and Wedding Cake, book twelve in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series won in 2014. Josi was also the Best of State winner in Fiction for 2012. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband, children and super-cute – but not very friendly – cat.
$25 Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash
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