Christmas Awards 2011

Friday 11 May 2007

Batchelor Duke

Batchelor Duke/Mary Nichols/HMB Historical/ISBN 0-263-84629-6

April 1814.Naples
Miss Sophie Langford has been left orphaned and destitute by the death of her father. Twenty-one years old, unmarried, with no close friends and with no money to pay the rent Sophie is quite desperate. Her father’s brother, who has now succeeded to her father’s title, has repudiated her, where can she turn now? Feeling desperate and alone her mother’s friend Lady Myers, offers her a temporary home and will take Sophie back to England shortly, when she and her husband return. What is her alternative? She could become an interpreter, which she has done before, to the English tourists who will no doubt be travelling to Naples now that the war is over. Sophie is writing a book but it will be some time before it can be published what can she live on in the meantime?

Persuaded by Lady Myers, Sophie returns to England and is to appeal to her Mother’s distant cousin the Duke of Belfont. The family had not approved of her Mother’s marriage so Sophie was not hopeful of this connection being recognised.

Sophie was much travelled as her father drifted from continent to continent living on his wits and winnings as a gambler. She had mixed with diplomats and hosted parties for her father, she was well educated and spoke several languages, but how could she earn a living in England, a country she could barely remember?

Once in England Lady Myers accompanies Sophie to meet the Duke of Belfont, who is not the elderly distant cousin she has envisaged. He is young and very attractive and not really interested in her but his widowed sister, Lady Harriet Harley, who is residing with him, welcomes Sophie and makes her feel wanted and a part of the family, telling her that she will positively enjoy introducing her into society.

She becomes part of the Duke's responsibility’s, but is forever arguing with him, as she is a girl of very independent views. The Duke finds her very trying but strangely attractive. She disrupts his life and finds herself the centre of attention when she tells people she is writing a book about places she has been and people she has met when acting as her father’s hostess.

Sophie says her book is about places she has seen and calls it a travel book but whispers and stories put a very different interpretation on her book and this puts her in unknown dangers. The Duke also is not all he appears to be!! Follow the intrigue and dangers in this romantic Historical and unfold Sophie’s story. A really good read with twists, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Thank you Mary Nichols.
I award this book 4.5 Roses


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