Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume. Julia Quinn. 2008. HarperCollins. 384 pages.

It was a crime that Amelia Willoughby was not married. At least that was what her mother said.

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume is a companion novel to The Lost Duke of Wyndham. I can't remember reading two books tied so closely together--within the romance genre. (The only example I can think of is Ender's Game/Ender's Shadow.) While The Lost Duke of Wyndham tells the story of Jack Audley and Grace Eversleigh, Mr. Cavendish, I Presume tells the story of Thomas Cavendish and Amelia Willoughby.

Thomas and Amelia have been betrothed for twenty years. Amelia was just an infant when her father contracted the marriage with the future Duke of Wyndham.

As far back as her earliest memory, it had been impressed upon her that this man (boy that he was at the time) was in charge. Her life, quite simply, and with no arguments accepted, revolved around his.
He spoke, she listened.
He beckoned, she jumped.
He entered a room, and she smiled with delight.
And most importantly, she was glad for the opportunity. She was a lucky girl, because she got to agree with everything he said.
Except--and this had to be his greatest offense--he rarely spoke to her. He almost never beckoned--what could he possibly require that she could provide? And she'd given up smiling when he entered a room because he was never looking in her direction, anyway. (32)
Thomas is indifferent to Amelia, and that infuriates Amelia. It's not that she's in love with him. She's not. How can she love a man who's practically a stranger to her? What frustrates her is that she wants to get to know him. And he obviously doesn't want to get to know her. Now that she is of age, why isn't he taking the proper steps to making her his wife? How long will she have to wait for him?

What changes? It starts when he finds her alone in the garden and they share a kiss.
"I ought to kiss you again," he said, lifting one brow into a practiced, arrogant arch.
She wasn't so sophisticated that she had a ready retort for that, a circumstance with which he found himself quite satisfied. He leaned forward slightly, smirking.
"You're quiet when I kiss you."
She gasped with outrage.
"You're quiet when I insult you as well," he mused, "but oddly, I don't find it quite as entertaining."
"You are insufferable," she hissed.
"And yet they arrive," he sighed. "Words. From your lips."
"I'm leaving," she declared. She turned to stalk back into the assembly hall, but he was too quick, and he slid his arm through hers before she could escape. (38)
It escalates when his world becomes threatened by the arrival of Jack Audley, a young man who could very well be the rightful Duke of Wyndham. Who is Thomas if he isn't the Duke? Amelia has been raised to be the Duchess. Does he even have a claim to her if he loses his title and land? Would she want him if he wasn't the Duke? Is it fair that he would want her still? Will these two have their happily ever after?

Mr. Cavendish, I Presume shares so much with The Lost Duke of Wyndham. Same characters, same scenes, same dialogue. But the book is narrated by different characters. So readers learn what went on behind the scenes for Thomas and Amelia during this same time period. Is Thomas as romantic a hero as Jack? Is Amelia as great a heroine as Grace? I'm not sure.

I didn't like this one as much as The Lost Duke of Wyndham. But I am glad I read it.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Chary Johnson 11:46 AM  

This sounds like a wonderful romance novel to read. Thanks!

Cleverly Inked 12:21 PM  

Sounds pretty good.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP