Goddess of the Hunt
Sometimes I read a book and, while it may not be perfect, I know right away that I’m going to like the author’s voice. Goddess of the Hunt is such a book. Even though it opens with one of my least favorite scenes – the innocent determined to “practice” seducing with little thought of the consequences – I still found myself responding to the writing, which flowed very well. The novel opens a bit too much on the cutesy side, but I still found myself smiling. And as the book goes along, the story becomes more poignant and picks up depth, making for a delightful read.
Lucy Waltham has reached the age where she should have headed off to London for her debut. However, her sister-in-law and chaperone seems to be perpetually in confinement, so Lucy’s debut keeps getting pushed back. Living with her brother at his country home, the only other men in Lucy’s life are her brother’s circle of close friends.
Of this circle, one in particular stands out to Lucy. When she was a child, Toby treated Lucy kindly, once crowning her Goddess of the Hunt. She has loved him ever since. Not even the news that Toby plans to propose to one of their houseguests stops Lucy. She has decided that she will have Toby, no matter what.
Predictably, this determination gets her into all manner of embarrassing situations. Some merely made me chuckle, but after a while, I can’t help wishing that Lucy would develop a little more discernment and perhaps grow up a little. Given her age and sheltered life, she’s a believable character, but believability does not keep her from grating on the nerves sometimes.
However, Lucy has just the practical influence she so desperately needs. Though she is determined to win Toby’s heart, she keeps crossing paths with Jeremy Trescott, Earl of Kendall. Jeremy tries many times to talk sense into Lucy and when that fails, he’s at least there to protect her. Sensible and compassionate to a degree that seems to surprise even him, Jeremy is a fantastic character. He can be somber, but Lucy brings out a lighter, happier side in him, even as he helps her learn at least a bit of common sense.
The chemistry between Lucy and Jeremy is fabulous. Initially, one can tell that neither wishes to acknowledge it, but the attraction keeps growing, and the story at the heart of this novel is ultimately a very sweet one. The pacing sometimes gets a touch uneven and things are sometimes a little too silly, but Goddess of the Hunt is still a very good read. I’ll definitely be picking up the rest of the trilogy.