I thoroughly enjoyed this, the second book I’ve read by Lara Temple. It all seemed so plausible – a companion, an over-indulged pug (that reminded me of Tricky Woo in the James Herriott series. Yes, I am that old.)
There was also a duke with honour running through him like the word Brighton through a stick of rock. Max is a gorgeous hero, and Sophie a worthy heroine. Not once did I think this pair did not deserve each other. The danger built up slowly and from an unexpected quarter, but no so unexpected as to feel contrived. The characters and their interactions are complex and three dimensional, too. Life is not all black and white in Ms Temple’s world.
I am hoping Wivenhoe gets his own book soon, too.
One bugbear, and it’s a minor one. I’ve seen it quite a few times lately, and it drives me crackers. Why, oh why, do authors have characters addressing a duke as “Duke”. It’s not a name. It’s not a nickname. It’s a title, and one which would have garnered a lot of respect in the days when the story is set. Characters not entitled to address him by his proper name would have called him “Your Grace.” Calling him “Duke” is akin to calling Queen Elizabeth II “Queenie.” It just isn’t done.
(I know cockneys call women “Duchess.” But that’s someone in their own circle. They’d never consider calling a real life duchess that.)
But that is the only complaint I have, and I eagerly await the next book.