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Lady Wesley's Salon

Historical romance.

Currently reading

The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, #6)
Jennifer Ashley
A Secret Affair (Huxtable Quintet, #5) - Mary Balogh Five stars means that I thoroughly enjoyed this book -- particularly because I had read its four predecessors. It would be much less enjoyable as a standalone.

What I Liked
Constantine! He's been a looming, sometimes gloomy, presence in the four previous books. Dark, handsome, mysterious. The Duchess of Dunbarton picks him to be her lover for precisely these reasons, but she's in for a surprise.

The Duchess of Dunbarton. She's glamorous, haughty and cold-hearted. And that's why Constantine agrees to be her lover for the Season. Naturally, he's in for a surprise too.

The Duke of Dunbarton (and by the way shouldn't he have been Scottish?) He's already dead before the book begins, but the duchess talks about him constantly. She loved him and truly grieves his passing. He married her, a country nobody, to rescue her from a tragic situation and taught her how to be a Duchess with a capital D. The duke's backstory gradually comes out, and it's quite touching.

The Huxtable family. All of Constantine's cousins, their spouses, and their children play prominent roles in the story. It's nice to catch up with them and learn what's happened over the years.

The inner dialog. Through this we learn how Constantine and Hannah gradually correct their misperceptions of one another and reluctantly fall in love.

What I Didn't Like
The inner dialog. There's WAY too much of it.

The hotness. Or rather lack thereof. Somehow, I just didn't feel the heat. Perhaps it was because of the unromantic nature of the lovers' brief midnight assignations.

The last two chapters. The obligatory wedding was overly orchestrated and wrapped up so many loose ends that it became just too much.

The epilogue. I simply hate, hate, hate the "And Baby Makes Three" epilogues that so many authors seem to feel obligated to add. Oh, and puppies makes it even worse.

What Bugged Me

I don't think that putting "a spin" on some event was part of the Regency vocabulary.