Monday, July 13, 2015

Book Review: Lord Fenton's Folly

Lord Fenton's Folly, the second regency romance from Josi Kilpack does not disappoint.  This new genre is starting to rival for her mysteries in my affection!  She's really doing a great job.

In this one we meet a curious sixteen-year-old young Lord Fenton who starts a fire as an experiment (knowing rain is on the way so it won't spread) but gets caught by a ten-year-old girl.  He promises to get her some space for a garden if she'll keep his secret.  She agrees, her little ten-year-old heart completely smitten with him.  Fast forward ten years and things have definitely changed.

Alice, the ten-year-old who kept Lord Fenton's secret, is now coming out into society. Her come-out has been delayed because of family finances, so she is excited to finally have her opportunity to find a husband to love.  At her first ball she sees Lord Fenton's mother. Since Alice is still harboring her secret crush on Lord Fenton, she hopes to see him, but since he isn't there, she had a moment to converse with his mother at least.  I loved the interactions between these two women. Their scenes were outstanding throughout the book.

Lord Fenton has spent the last ten years doing everything he could to annoy his father. He's a dandy, he drinks to excess, and pretty much makes a fool of himself wherever he goes. His father has had enough and threatens to disinherit him---and he's completely serious. Lord Fenton strikes a bargain to straighten up and that includes getting married.  His mother suggests Alice and Lord Fenton agrees. A sweet, biddable girl is just the thing for a marriage of convenience.

Unfortunately, Alice believes he loves her and when she finds out that it's only to be a marriage of convenience she is so hurt she throws up a wall to protect her heart.  The sweet, biddable girl he thought he was getting is no more.  She becomes someone who matches him in insults and wit, not letting him get away with his dandy behavior.  Some of the repartee between them made me laugh out loud. It was really well done, but at the same time you're rooting for them to get past it and see what's really there underneath it all.

The thing that strikes me most about this book, though, is how much the characters grow from the beginning of the story to the end.  There are so many emotional and poignant moments as the author peels back the layers on both of these characters to reveal why they behave this way.  I really enjoyed the journey they took as a couple and I am a sucker for happy endings.

Another five star winner for Ms. Kilpack.

Here's the back copy:

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.

It comes out in October, but you can preorder your copy here 

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