I just had a great review for The Duke’s Holiday! Please check it out on my Amazon page or read it here!
REVIEW BELOW BY J. CRISPIN:
Let me start with the two things I did not like about this book…
1) I had things to do over the last day and a half. Laundry. Cleaning my kitchen. Making my family dinner. And none of that got done because of this novel.
2) I too am a debut author of Regency romance, with a book, Once Upon A Wager, out this week. And I really liked my book, until I read this one.
Here is the bald truth. If you buy only one book today, it should not be mine. It should be The Duke’s Holiday, because it is a laugh-out-loud, frolicking fun fest.
Ms. Fenton has crafted a completely original and unpredictable story. Her hero, Lord Cyril Montford, starts out as one of the biggest prigs to ever grace the Regency stage. He has OCD, faints at the sight of blood, and vomits every time he gets into a carriage (although he has a heartrendingly good excuse.) Her heroine, Astrid Honeywell, is “utterly, completely hideous, with ungodly eyes and horrible spots” (and that’s quoting Cyril.) Yet by the end of the story, I loved them both dearly. Layer by layer, they become more complex, more insecure, and more human.
And the story surrounding them was just hilarious. Any author who can seamlessly interject the word codswallop into their work has a gift, so I will let Ms. Fenton’s words speak for themselves. Here are few of my favorite quotes:
“It is one thing to read scandalous verse, quite another to disguise it behind lofty pretense. Thomas More indeed.” (Cyril, upon finding a racy tract Astrid had tucked into a book by, you guessed it, Thomas More.)
“His eyes surveyed her as he would some rare species of poisoned fauna.”
“Oh God…she was about to become the hapless heroine in her own personal melodrama.” (Astrid, upon being abducted)
“The vicar was a stutterer. It made Sunday mornings a true test of Christian fortitude.”
“His hands fell away, and he stepped back, out of the circle of her skirts, and the heat of her body. It was like stepping out of an enchantment.” (This is a romance, after all.)
“A bounder of a French aristocrat had picked her up in Marseilles, where she’d washed ashore, and introduced her to the bawdy Bourbon Court, where she had thrived on petty intrigue and decadence until the peasantry began chopping off heads.” (This from dotty Aunt Anabel.)
That last one was my personal favorite. Honestly, I defy any author to pack a better character sketch into a single sentence.
This book is a crazy mix of Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde stirred up in a cocktail shaker, with a shot of Monty Python thrown in for good measure. I wish I could be a British citizen for just today, so I could say “this is bloody brilliant” with some measure of authenticity.