A Lady's Escape by A.S. Fenichel
The Everton Domestic Society provides assistance to discerning employers seeking unusual solutions. The Everton Ladies are carefully selected for their abilities to solve the most tangled of problems. Finding a young, handsome, wealthy duke a wife? Honestly, it should be a simple assignment for skilled matchmaker Millicent Edgebrook. Having given up on ever finding a match for herself, Millie is sure she can help Preston, Duke of Middleton.
Of course, things don’t go to plan. Preston’s a discerning gentleman who finds himself curious as to why a beautiful, intelligent lady like Millicent thinks herself unmarriageable. And while the young ladies she advises him to consider are everything eligible and attractive, it’s the woman he can’t have who he’s becoming more intrigued by every day. Things come to a head at a house party he throws to determine the characters of his potential brides, and eventually Preston comes to the realization that only Millie will do for his duchess.
The course of true love, as usual, doesn’t run entirely smoothly, but all the issues are resolved most satisfyingly and without having to take enormous leaps of logic to imagine it actually happening. I totally believed in Millie and Preston’s romance, from their chess games to the way he supported her ambitions to be more than ‘merely’ a wife and mother.
It’s not just Preston who has other potential love interests; an ‘old flame’ of Millie’s does come on the scene too, but it transpires he basically ruined her reputation back in her first season. And when I say ‘basically’, what I mean is ‘date-rape’ so you should be careful if that’s a trigger for you. There’s nothing explicitly spelled out but it’s more than clear that is what happened. Millie admits to Preston what happened and he is of course outraged on her behalf, but I loved him even more for letting Millie deal with the evil ex on her own terms.
Bearing that trigger in mind, I’d still give this five stars. It’s a great read with a really strong heroine and a charming hero, who deserve to find happiness together. Though it’s second in the series and characters from the first do make an appearance, it can certainly be read as a standalone.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.