Liviania’s review of Mr. Cavendish, I Presume (Two Dukes of Wyndham, Book 2) by Julia Quinn
Historical romance released by Avon 30 Sep 08
The Lost Duke of Wyndham told of a highwayman and a servant falling in love. Julia Quinn appropriately approaches its companion Mr. Cavendish, I Presume in a different manner. It’s a bit more arch, and somehow feels less like a modern romance without truly being old school. While most reviewers seem to prefer whichever of the two they read first, I prefer Mr. Cavendish, I Presume.
The first reason is the hero. Thomas Cavendish was my favorite in the first and he remains in that place. His responsibility is a good trait, but the Duke takes duty a bit too far and doesn’t know who he truly is. Possibly losing his dukedom to the highwayman who accosts his grandmother and her companion gives him the space he needs to find himself. (Too often he finds himself in his cups.) He acted like a jerk a few times in the first, but this one really fleshes out his motivation. It also shows that he had friends besides Grace.
The second reason to prefer this one is the heroine. In The Lost Duke of Wyndham, Thomas’s erstwhile fiancée Amelia had little color. In this one she’s vibrant, snarky, and clever. She has hobbies. She’s quite angry with Thomas for putting off their marriage for so long and happy that he’s finally getting to know her. Even knowing how the story would turn out I felt for her because she deserved her happy ending.
Of course, many people had a problem with knowing how things would turn out. The two books follow the same plot but one from the point of view of each couple. Quinn recycles some conversations, but I read the two books far enough apart (with enough between) that only two conversations struck me as overly familiar. A lot of it felt like new material to me and I really relished getting to explore Thomas and Amelia’s courtship. (I did remember the Hebrides, which still makes me laugh. Despite being made repeatedly, the joke does not wear out its welcome. Perhaps it is simply because the dowager really does deserve it.)
I first forayed into romance with authors like Julia Quinn. She’s such a wonderful place to start – likeable characters, humor, drama, and a sensible plot. She tells a story and does it well. Mr. Cavendish, I Presume was a perfect novel to accompany the comfort food of Thanksgiving Break. And it’s the comfort of knowing I’ll get a high quality read that will make me continue to pick up Quinn’s work.
To read more reviews of 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 here.
Other books in the series: