Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Irish Duke-Virginia Henley

The Irish Duke
Virginia Henley
Signet, Mar 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451229205

As the Dowager matriarch of her family, in 1894, octogenarian widow Lady Louisa Jane Russell holds court as she always has while looking back over the decades of her life. In 1819 Lady Louisa loves her position in society, which allows her to enjoy life to the fullest. Irish nobleman James Hamilton went so far as to propose, but she ridiculed him for being Irish with a speech impediment; of course he was nine years old at the time and she was his age.

In spite of her putting him down, they become friends though he never has given up marrying his Lu. Other men want her too, but though she adores them, she prefers her independent gaiety more so. However, over a decade later, a family scandal leaves Lu with the choices of marrying her kindhearted Irish admirer, someone else, or face scornful disgraced exile.

Few if any writer can interweave historical information to enhance a story line as deftly as Virginia Henley can and does with the enjoyable The Irish Duke. The story line is driven by the heroine who tells her great-granddaughters about her life with her late beloved Irish Duke who to his death insisted B is pronounced as a V. Fans will relish Ms. Henley’s fine nineteenth century historical romance as the exhilarating plot with its strong lead protagonists brings the era to life.

Harriet Klausner

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