Lord Fenton is a gambler, a dandy, and a flirt-and he must marry or else he will be disinherited, stripped of his wealth and his position. He chooses Alice Stanbridge for two simple reasons: he once knew her as a young girl, and she is the least objectionable option available to him. However, Alice has harbored feelings for Fenton since their first meeting ten years ago, and she believes his proposal is real. When she discovers it is not, she is embarrassed and hurt. However, a match with the most-eligible bachelor in London would secure not only her future but that of her family as well. Determined to protect herself from making a fool of herself a second time, Alice matches Lord Fenton wit for wit and insult for insult as they move toward a marriage of convenience that is anything but a happy union. Only when faced with family secrets that have shaped Fenton's life does he let down his guard enough to find room in his heart for Alice.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!
What I say: Somebody recently asked me why I like historical fiction. I think the answer is similar to why I love watching costume dramas on TV. There's just something wonderful about the past, and for me it's the perfect form of escapism. I haven't read the first instalment in Josi Kilpack's Proper Romance regency series, but Lord Fenton's Folly is a standalone and I didn't feel as though I had missed anything.
I particularly liked the main character, Alice. She's sweet, charming and full of life. She doesn't let anything bring her down for long. She's overwhelmed and hopeful when her former crush shows an interest in her. What I appreciated the most was how she dealt with the truth - yes she's upset but she tries hard to make the most of the situation. I did feel she was a little too accepting of his behaviour at times, but it did make a nice change to see a character not throwing a tantrum.
It took me a lot longer to warm to Lord Fenton, but I do believe this is the point of the book. You're supposed to be troubled by him. The story is as much about Fenton's coming of age (yes strange thing to write about a 26 year old) as it is about Alice's progression - they have to grow into their roles together. This isn't to say that Fenton doesn't display more than his share of questionable behaviour, because he does, and I did think he seemed far younger than her at times.
The story is a clean romance, so those expecting bursting corsets may be disappointed, but I appreciated how the narrative focused on other matters, rather than relying solely on naughty scenes as a lot of historical stories do.
My favourite parts were their squabbles and bickering - the banter between them was entertaining and made me smile. I would have liked to see slightly more pace at certain times, but overall I really enjoyed this sweet romance and I'm sure readers of all ages will appreciate the setting and style.
4 Stars in my Sky!
Fenton groaned and put his saucer back on the tray, making an instantaneous decision that eased his mind quite a lot. To look at every woman he met as a potential wife was irritating, and after only two weeks he was quite tired of it. Perhaps the solution was to orchestrate a match that would not lay all aspects of matrimony at his feet all at once. Perhaps treating it as a business arrangement would help it to be exactly that, thereby freeing him from all the discomfiting realities he was not yet prepared to face. "I leave for Fentonview on Tuesday and shan't be back for a week. Courting is such a boring prospect, and you yourself said that to become infatuated with anyone might become a complication." He paused, considered one last time what he was going to say next, and decided he felt as good about it as could be expected. "You like Alice Stanbridge and feel she would make a good wife for me?"
Lady Chariton looked confused and perhaps a bit concerned. "I do, but-"
"Then that is good enough for me," Fenton said, rising to his feet and smiling broadly at his mother, who stared back at him in surprise. "I do find her appealing and what's more she is not a silly little thing without a practical thought in her head."
His mother's eyes widened and her eyebrows rose upon her forehead. Fenton struck a pose of consternation, with his thumb and forefinger on his chin as he looked toward the window a moment, then nodded crisply and turned back to his mother who still looked shocked by his pronouncement.
"Yes, I think that Alice Stanbridge is exactly what I should like in a wife, and so I shall see to it before I leave for Hampshire-I see no reason to wait until Michaelmas and might as well get it over with." He leaned in and kissed his mother's hand. "Thank you for your help, Mama. I shall let you know how she responds to my proposal."
Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Sheep's Clothing won the Whitney award for Mystery/Suspense in 207 and Wedding Cake, book twelve in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series won in 2014. Josi was also the Best of State winner in Fiction for 2012. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband, children and super-cute - but not very friendly - cat.
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