War changes those who experience its treachery.
Title: The Major’s Faux Fiancée Dukes of War Series, book 4
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Story Setting: February, 1816; London, England
Published by: Intrepid Reads
Published Date: June 1, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Dukes of War Series—in order:
The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation presently free ecopy
The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower
The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress
The Major’s Faux Fiancée
The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride, releases September 2015, available for pre-order
Official Summary: When Major Bartholomew Blackpool learns the girl-next-door from his childhood will be forced into an unwanted marriage, he returns home to play her pretend beau. He figures now that he’s missing a leg, a faux fiancée is the best an ex-soldier can get. He admires her pluck, but the lady deserves a whole man–and he’ll ensure she gets one. Miss Daphne Vaughan hates that crying off will destroy Major Blackpool’s chances of finding a real bride. She plots to make him jilt her first. Who cares if it ruins her? She never wanted a husband anyway. But the major is equally determined that she break the engagement. With both of them on their worst behavior, neither expects their fake betrothal to lead to love…
My Thoughts: Major Bartholomew Blackpool had thought he’d lost his heart along with his leg at the Battle of Waterloo. His only friend he hadn’t alienated was drink and more drink. He even disgusted himself with the total decline of who he’d been. Along with his heart, he lost who he was, he wasn’t best at anything where earlier he was best at everything. Before the fatal day he’d been the most at everything: confidence oozed from his pores, a debonaire rake, imitated in dress by the ton, an unbeatable pugilist, one of the best if not the best phaeton racer, and looks of a god who had women eyeing him most admiringly. All disappeared when he lost his leg and with it his twin, who killed in battle alongside him.
Blackpool felt he had every right to beat himself up. Guilt dogged him, he no longer measured up. He didn’t care to return to the ton, for there he would be ridiculed or pitied. He cared not for either. One thing Bartholomew had left, along with one good leg was pride and plenty of it. He decided he’d take care of what he had left, spending weeks taxing his limbs, learning how to compensate for the missing portion of his leg. He even had the most expensive prosthesis made created by the craftsman James Potts.
Fate stepped in to push this man to do more. His old playmate, Daphne, was in trouble. He could not deny her request. If he couldn’t be a hero and saving his twin on the battle field, he perhaps could act the hero for her.
Daphne Vaughan was compassionate about one thing, hearing the voices of people in need, those less fortunate and worked toward helping them. Her escritoire was littered with paper and often she had ink on her face. But if she didn’t get help for herself in her predicament, she’d lose the opportunity to help others. Her guardian, Captain Gregory Steele, known as Blackheart, gave Daphne an ultimatum. Either marry or off to Bedlam she’d go. She reached out to the only person she felt she could trust. She hadn’t seen Bartholomew for ten years and time had wrought many changes. He was the handsomest man she had ever seen.
The two of them concocted a scheme where they would be betrothed at least until she came into her inheritance, then break the engagement. All sounds plausible enough, but the best laid plans…well you know what happens.
I liked the story, the characters, the fear that hung over their heads that Daphne’s guardian, Blackheart, would surely instigate if they broke the engagement or didn’t look like they were smitten. The internal and external conflicts were profound giving the story a nice edge. Both characters had such strength of character, yet both had flawed thinking making them simply lovable and believable. Both learned what is important in life. Bartholomew had the greatest challenges to overcome, but he also had the deepest well of strength.
This is the first book I’ve read from Erica Ridley and will enjoy reading the rest of the series. Her writing style is flowing and fast-paced and most entertaining. She brings up some thought-provoking issues which can be played forward to present day where work conditions need to be improved world-wide. I championed her efforts because it’s those efforts that bring change.
About the Author: Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up. Now, she’s a USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels.
Her latest series, The Dukes of War, features charming peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.
When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.
She can also be found on: Official Website – http://www.EricaRidley.com Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/EricaRidley Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/EricaRidley Newsletter – http://ericaridley.com/club99