Seducing the Duchess
I’ll just put my cards on the table right now. I really, really did not like Philip and Charlotte Burgess, the Duke and Duchess of Rutherford. Seducing the Duchess, features an estranged couple who find their way back to each other – a plot I normally like very much – but Philip and Charlotte’s antics made it impossible for me to care for them.
Philip Burgess, Duke of Rutherford married Charlotte, the daughter of a local squire. He loved her madly but left her for reasons that weren’t all that clear (something having to do with his upbringing by a rigid grandfather). Naturally Charlotte is hurt, so she begins to act outrageously in town, planning to bring so much scandal on herself that Philip will divorce her. This goes on for about three years.
One day while Charlotte is in a gaming hall, Philip shows up and removes her by force, telling her they are going back to his home. Naturally, Charlotte isn’t inclined to go peacefully, and at one point while they have stopped at an inn, she gets away from Philip and when he finds her, she is just about to perform a striptease for a room full of hooting men (it was at this point, I lost all sympathy for the characters and I never got it back).
Well, finally they get back home. Philip tells Charlotte that he will give her a divorce if she will help him become a better husband since he plans to ask their mutual friend Lady Grey to marry him. Of course, he has no such plans – he really wants to woo Charlotte back, but heaven forbid he actually tell her so.
I’ve read any number of stories where estranged spouses rekindle their love for each other and some of those stories were very good. They were good because the author gave the reader enough back story to understand and sympathize with the characters. That wasn’t the case here. Philip and Charlotte were such sketchy characters that I never really understood them. They spent most of the book sniping at each other, plotting against each other, and generally behaving cruelly. The fact that I met Charlotte and Philip when both were at their worst made it difficult for me to like them at all, especially since they never really stop their bad behavior.
This is a classic wallpaper historical romance – the time period has nothing to do with the story, and since the time period is not given, I would guess Seducing the Duchess takes place sometime in the Regency, but I could be wrong. Much as I love historical romances, I can’t recommend this one – I finished the book still wondering what these two saw in each other.
|Review Date:||November 8, 2010|
|Book Type:||Historical Romance|