Nothing Like A Duke by Jane Ashford
How do you solve a problem like Flora?
Like Maria in The Sound Of Music, Flora is ill-suited to the life she has to lead. She's an educated, intelligent, independent-minded woman living in an era when women were often considered to be nothing more than property, and at best young unmarried women were supposed to be prettily ornamental and do as they were told.
Flora, however, gets lucky. She has managed to find a man who appreciates her for everything she is, and doesn't want her to change into something she is not. Now all Lord Robert has to do is convince her that not all members of the ton are worthless fribbles.
Watching Flora and Robert interact was a delight, especially their dealing with the jealous machinations of a young woman with a schoolgirl crush on Robert. Flora's grace and ability to see the comedy inherent in the situation was absolutely wonderful; the scene where they were both stifling their laughter was one of my favourites in the book.
Nothing Like A Duke is well-written; even though it is the fourth in the series (and I haven't read any of the others) and there were some plot points that had obviously been carried forward from previous books, I had no trouble at all following events and figuring out what was going on. To me that is the mark of a good book in a series; being able to pick up a book in the middle at random - because after all, we've all picked up a book in the bookshop, only to realize later that it's in the middle of a series - and NOT having to go out to buy the rest to figure out the plot.
A great read on its own, no doubt the rest of the series will be just as good. Maybe I'll get to them one day when the TBR pile is reduced from its current mountainous proportions. Five stars!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.