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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Rakes' progress, part 1.



Enjoyable characters and story. Benedict Mercer, The Duke of Griffin will go to great lengths to protect his twin sisters from the consequences of a stupid and damaging wager he and his dukely friends (The Rakes of St. James) had participated in years ago.
Part of those lengths is to hire a chaperone, Miss Esmeralda Swift. That was his first battle with Esmeralda and those battles would continue. (Both Griffin and Esmerelda are stubborn). Esmeralda has her own secrets and burdens including her beloved half sister Josephine. There's a dog of great consequence included--Napoleon of course!
The thing is that the Duke has strong feelings about the right behaviour due to those in his service, even if he has a great deal of difficulty mastering that as far as the delectable Miss Swift is concerned. Esmeralda definitely is not indifferent to the wretched man, but he is a Duke and she is only a lowly employee. 
In between chasing down rumours, keeping his sisters safe, his attraction for Esmerelda and running the gauntlet of a London season, the Duke has much to occupy him. And of course there's his friends and fellow dukely rakes, Rust Rathburne, the Duke of Rathburne (Rath), and Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn (Hawk).
Esmeralda's background story seems to fizzle somewhat, although it does give her the right entree. Still maybe more will come of it in future developments of the other St James Rakes' progresses. Griffin's twin sisters Vera and Sara could be more fully developed. They certainly have heaps of potential.
Josephine however, is a treasure! I loved her! The antics she and her dog get up to are both heart warming and heart breaking.
Then there's the broad sheet publication, 'Miss Honora Truth's Weekly Scandal Sheet'. I am sure that will continue to play a part.
A lot of unanswered questions that may never be resolved in this delightful Regency romance.

A NetGalley ARC

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