St. Martin's Paperbacks
May 1, 2007
To the Ton, Lady Fiona Turnbridge is an oddity, or more politely, a curiosity.
She is quite aware of herself, and knows her differences make her largely
undesirable as a matrimonial prospect to a suitable gentleman. Not in the least
bothered by the idea of a destiny as a spinster, she spends her time in pursuit
of things that make her happy. Attending medical lectures is one such pursuit,
and caring for injured animals yet another. Both activities are of course
considered unseemly for a proper young lady, a fact which deters her not a bit.
So it is that fate lands her on the doorstep of the most eligible bachelor of
the season with an injured cat in her arms, demanding the good doctor mend the
poor kitty’s paw. Consumed with the task at hand, they spend the night working
together in his surgery. When morning comes, Lord Ian Cabott realizes he must
offer for the intriguing young woman in order to protect her reputation, a
situation he finds immensely advantageous to himself.
But Ian isn’t prepared for Fiona’s vehement denial of his suit, especially
considering every other single woman in the city is vying for his attention. If
he wants the fair damsel’s hand in marriage, he must actually woo her…
On the surface, Leslie Lafoy’s third book in her historical series may seem like
a typical historical romance. Let me assure you, the emotions this story evokes
in the reader are anything but typical! Is the plot somewhat familiar? Yes,
but you will soon forget that fact when you begin reading THE DUKE’S
PROPOSAL. Besides, there are really only so many plots in the world,
aren’t there? It is the way the author crafts the story, builds the world, and
fashions her characters that makes the tale her own, and Ms. Lafoy succeeds
admirably with this.
Fiona is a welcome addition to my list of favorite heroines. She is
intelligent, sweet, practical, and beautiful in both spirit and visage. Her
no-nonsense demeanor certainly throws the charmingly clueless Ian for a loop
time and again, much to the readers’ continuous enjoyment. It is easy to see
why Ian becomes captivated by our heroine so quickly.
Ian is a typical male, oblivious at first to Fiona’s true wants and needs, but
admirably quick to catch on when it is important. Initially making the mistake
of handling the fair Fiona as he would any of the other women he has known, he
finally catches on to the fact that she is unlike anyone – male or female – he
has met before. OK, so it takes a little while before that sinks in and he
stops underestimating his heroine, but the important thing is that he does come
around in the most wonderful way.
Although this is the third book in a trilogy, and the only one of the three I’ve
yet read, I had no problems following the story at all. Still, meeting Fiona’s
sisters, who are the heroines of the first two books, made me more than anxious
to get my hands on their stories soon!
THE DUKE’S PROPOSAL is a perfect read for those who love
historical romances with strong, capable heroines. After reading this book, I
am more than happy to add Leslie LaFoy to my list of favorite authors!
Note: This review was originally
written by Jennifer Ray for another review site. It is being reposted at
Wild on Books.
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