Azalea- abundance. Read a book where the h/h are wealthy.
The Captivating Lady Charlotte Carolyn Miller
Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. The beautiful daughter of a marquess with a very healthy dowry, it is assumed she will have her pick of the eligibles during the London season. Her own goal is simple: She wants a love match. Someone who will cherish her for her self, not just for her money, connections or pretty face.
William Hartwell, Duke of Harrington, knows he is no lady’s dream man. Slight, with bland features and a less than scintillating personality he has only his earnest sincerity and genuine faith to recommend him. Well, only that if you discount his enormous wealth and prestigious title. He knows that there will be plenty of women wooed by his position but will there be any willing to look beyond that factor to value and love who he really is?
He meets Charlotte at a church service and is touched by her kindness and beauty. He finds himself captivated by her but realizes that she is looking at men who are younger than he is (the book doesn’t tell us his age but I think 30 something to her 18) and who have flash and flattery to recommend them. She seems charmed by fortune hunters. His first wife was the same and brought him nothing but misery and he is determined not to have the same happen to him twice. But her parents seem determined to land him for a husband and he himself truly likes the girl. The question is, will she ever like him?
There was so much I loved about this novel. Probably the thing I loved most was the way faith was handled. Most Inspirational Regency romances I’ve read have treated it like it was totally natural for the current American evangelical attitude to be prevalent among the upper classes of England over a hundred years ago. Snort. This novel takes the unique approach of presenting faith in a manner which it would have been most likely to have been seen back then involving more of an awareness of the concept of living beliefs and a reformist zeal that was a response to the excesses of the era. Speaking of your faith – which was considered a private thing – was looked upon as vulgar and rude. William shares very gently about his faith and Charlotte makes changes to her own belief system as she sees thing in his life and that of her beloved cousin Lavinia Ellison.
I also loved how the relationship/courtship was handled. Charlotte had some immaturity she needed to work through and that was perfectly natural given her age. She and William were at different places in life and their road to love involved some stops and starts. He was jaded with society but he had had the opportunity to see it all before whereas everything was new for her. Her love of parties and flirting seemed natural. Her original attitude/dismissal of him as old made sense and I liked the fact that they weren’t natural with each other initially but had to really work their way into a comfortable relationship. Everything just felt much more realistic than so many novels which rush us through a love/lust at first sight. Speaking of which, this author acknowledged passion. William wanted Charlotte, pure and simple. So many Regencies try to pretend that sex doesn’t exist, which is ridiculous. So — definite A read for me and I was super excited to see I have another of her books in my TBR. SQUEE!
The Floral Challenge – one down, sixteen to go.
Cocktail Challenge – complete!
Letter Q Challenge – complete!