Forester’s third wedding-themed Regency-era novel (after A Midsummer Bride) is pure ambrosia. James Lockton, the Duke of Marchford and an accomplished spy, dreads the prospect of contending with giggling maids and conniving mothers in the upcoming debutante season. He would rather settle for a sensible marriage to his grandmother’s companion, Miss Penelope Rose, and get it all over with as quickly as possible. Despite her unsettling attraction to Marchford, Pen declines his proposal, yearning for a marriage born of love rather than convenience. As it happens, she and the duke’s grandmother operate a secret matchmaker service, and she unenthusiastically agrees to help Marchford find a bride. Alongside the duo’s tender game of cat-and-mouse there are delicious distractions such as murder, international intrigue, and, of course, Christmas—a holiday whose customs Marchford ham-handedly adopts in order to woo the strong-willed and adorable Pen. Readers will delight in one of Forester’s happiest offerings to date. Agent: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Literacy Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/14/2014 Release date: 09/02/2014 Genre: Fiction
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