The Once and Future Duchess
After a raucous bachelor party, the Prince Regent dictates that the nobility in England must marry. The Duchess of March, Isabelle, proposes to James, the Duke of Candover, hoping to at least have a marriage of convenience to a nobleman 12 years her senior. When James refuses, Isabelle receives a list of eligible gentlemen from the Prince Regent, and bumbles around trying to figure out who she’ll set her sights on next.
“The Once and Future Duchess” is a mediocre tale with a few blandly humorous moments (Isabelle accidentally encourages and flirts with a man who has chronic B.O. Isn’t that funny?!) A majority of the tale is spent with the nobility trotting here and there, and worrying themselves over family lineages and maintaining their noble blood. James’ brother Edward of Sussex and his beau Amelia are minor characters that are given way too much of the plot.
Bottom line: The supposed hero and heroine aren’t given enough time to cultivate their relationship, which led me to stop caring about them at all. A happy ending is squeaked in at the end, but just barely. Best to leave this one on the shelf.
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