by Lucinda Brant
Despite the Duke’s reputation with women, which was very true, her father judged him to be a man of principle and honor. As duke and head of his family, Roxton took his responsibilities to family and retainers very seriously. Her father added with a shrewd laugh that the nobleman’s blackened shell covered a multitude of decencies.
This is a successful homage, I believe, to Georgette Heyer’s great and beloved These Old Shades. Many elements of the plot are different, but the main characters are very comparable. The Duke of Roxton is not as omnipotent and invulnerable as Avon. But this threw some interesting and enjoyable aspects into his relationship with the Leonie character, played by Antonia. If you’ve ever wished for a peek behind Leonie’s and Avon’s bedroom door, a more intimate look at how their relationship and marriage might have played out, this is the book for you. Don’t expect a lot of clinical detail in the love-making, but for me, it was just enough.
Lucinda Brant is a very good writer and she apparently specializes in the Georgian time period which I think she captured beautifully. There is lots of detail and authenticity in her descriptions of the fashions, manners, culture and historical personages. It is not a great book overall like These Old Shades is but in many ways, such as the deeper dive into family and more sinister and threatening evil schemers (and the resulting suspense and tension), it improved upon the original. Lightning please don’t strike me. I am looking forward to reading the next novel in the series someday soon.
March 12, 2020