Lawson’s review of Mr. Cavendish, I Presume (Two Dukes of Wyndham, Book 2) by Julia Quinn
Historical romance released by Avon 26 Sept 08
The second book in the Two Dukes of Wyndham series, which follows The Lost Duke of Wyndham, picks up where the last one left off. Or maybe it should be, it picks up what Lost Duke left out. I’ve got to say the cover on Mr. Cavendish is interesting. Is it supposed to inspire the feeling of a sort of gothic style? Or is it just supposed to be the opposite of the lighter Lost Duke cover? It is a bit more striking, at least to me though. But on to the story.
Mr. Cavendish, of course, the same story from Lost Duke, but this time from Amelia and Thomas’ point of view. For a quick recap, the Dowager Duchess of Wyndham thinks she recognizes her long lost grandson when her coach is beset by a highwayman. Her grandson, Thomas, is the current Duke and engaged to marry Amelia, the second daughter to the Earl of Crowland. The highwayman, Jack Audley, is brought into the duke’s home and takes an interest in the dowager’s companion, Grace Eversleigh.
The question then comes, who is the real Duke of Wyndham. Due to some succession issues, the characters head to Ireland to investigate and prove whether Jack is the true Duke and the legitimacy of his claim. Along the way, secrets come out and Grace and Jack have a very sweet story. And the Dowager Duchess is rather mean to people who don’t do what she wants.
As told from Thomas and Amelia’s point of view, there are a few different scenes, and some of the mysterious things from the first book about the two are revealed. They have some good scenes together, and I liked the dynamic between Thomas and Amelia. From their first scene, there’s a sizzle between the two when Amelia decides to act as her own person, rather than as the Duke’s intended.
When Thomas starts seeing her as Amelia instead of just an obligation to be fulfilled, things definitely heat up. All while he could loose everything that he’s ever known. Both Thomas and Amelia have to figure out who they are, instead of who they were supposed to be. It’s refreshing to see so much growth in a story, by both characters. The epilogue, however, makes things a bit clichéd.
What really is the drawback to the story is the charming scenes between Thomas and Amelia are cut short. Since the events of the book happen at the same time as Lost Duke, it rehashes the storyline and some things that happened in the first book. In fact, it seemed as though I was reading the same book over again, except for the few scenes that weren’t included because they were from the different points of view.
Quinn’s humor, as always comes through, and I liked Thomas and Amelia much more than Jack and Grace, but with the repetitions of the last book and the less time spent with scenes between Thomas and Amelia made this probably one of the weakest Quinn books I’ve read. The idea of having two books that deal with the same time and different characters is an interesting one, but this second book just didn’t work that well for me.
To read reviews and other information about this and other books in the series, follow the Two Dukes of Wyndham series tag.
Amelia Willoughby has been engaged to the Duke of Wyndham for as long as she can remember. Literally. A mere six months old when the contracts were signed, she has spent the rest of her life waiting. And waiting. And waiting . . . for Thomas Cavendish, the oh-so-lofty duke, to finally get around to marrying her. But as she watches him from afar, she has a sneaking suspicion that he never thinks about her at all . . .
It’s true. He doesn’t. Thomas rather likes having a fiancée—all the better to keep the husband-hunters at bay—and he does intend to marry her . . . eventually. But just when he begins to realize that his bride might be something more than convenient, Thomas’s world is rocked by the arrival of his long-lost cousin, who may or may not be the true Duke of Wyndham. And if Thomas is not the duke, then he’s not engaged to Amelia. Which is the cruelest joke of all, because this arrogant and illustrious duke has made the mistake of falling in love . . . with his own fiancée!
Read an excerpt.