Title: Lord Fenton’s Folly
Published: October 2015
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Lord Fenton is a gambler, a dandy, and a flirt—and he must marry or else he will be disinherited, stripped of his wealth and his position. He chooses Alice Stanbridge for two simple reasons: he once knew her as a young girl, and she is the least objectionable option available to him.
However, Alice has harbored feelings for Fenton since their first meeting ten years ago, and she believes his proposal is real. When she discovers it is not, she is embarrassed and hurt. However, a match with the most-eligible bachelor in London would secure not only her future but that of her family as well.
Determined to protect herself from making a fool of herself a second time, Alice matches Lord Fenton wit for wit and insult for insult as they move toward a marriage of convenience that is anything but a happy union. Only when faced with family secrets that have shaped Fenton’s life does he let down his guard enough to find room in his heart for Alice. But can Alice risk her heart a second time?
Well if you are looking for a bodice ripper then this one might not be for you – very PG. However if you want to read a great romance book about the regency era (which I love) then this is it!
Alice first meets Lord Fenton ‘Charles’ as a child when he comes rushing into the barn she is hiding in after setting fire to a field (all part of a scientific experiment you know). She catches him quiet red handed and after fearing that she might tell her father he makes a deal with her to keep his ‘experiment’ a secret. After always being seen as quite a peculiar girl for liking things she should not, she asks for something quite unusual in itself – a garden of her own. From the moment Charles manages to procure her own garden she falls quite in love with him – or what she see’s as love for being only ten. Ten years later and she still harbours those childhood fancies and can’t wait to bump into him again while she is in London for her first, and probably only, season. Though the boy she knew has changed into a very different man over the last ten years.
Charles was once a carefree lad who would do anything to live up the expectations his father set for him but after finding out a family secret, one of many to come to light, he now does everything in his power to embarrass him. He latest lost bet, wearing a ladies hat to an important evening function, is the final straw for his father. He says that he will cut him off entirely and denounce him as his heir. It is only after his mother intervenes, on his behalf, that he is given his last chance. He needs to start taking his roll as Lord seriously, and also he must find a wife before the end of the season. Which is something he really doesn’t want to do, so he asks his mothers advice about whom to pick and ultimately goes with her choice.
The first time that Alice and Charles meet again he is all a flirt, but as her sister insists, he does this with everyone. It is only after her father receives a letter soon after where Charles is asking for her hand in marriage does she start to think that he might just care for her. Everyone else is a bit more sceptical about his motives but goes along with it as the match will not only help her but her family. After a few joint excursions together, with Charles being very distant, Alice decides to come right out and ask him what troubles him so. The answer she gets is not one that pleases her – for Charles comes right out and tells her he was forced into it or he would loose everything. Charles first thoughts are that she will back out of the agreement, so he is pleasantly surprised that she still agrees – he just doesn’t know what he has let himself into just yet.
From this moment on the two are locked in a battle of wits about who can out do the other. With Charles flamboyant tendencies and her head strong nature there are a lot of moments where they get so heated with each other you can see a perfect moment for them to just rip each others clothes off – but alas it all just simmers underneath the surface for them but then it does help in creating the tension of the story. With many more secrets coming to light that could break Charles down even more than before, he is going to need Alice more than he ever thought. His mother has never steered him wrong before so he is going to have to figure it out sooner rather than later that his match with Alice is actually the best thing that could have happened to him.
I do love a good historical romance and this would be up there with some of the better ones I have come across. The simplicity of it is its beauty, in that you don’t feel the story is rushed but going through at the right pace for what is being told. There are a lot of hidden twists and turns throughout this book that will keep you entertained throughout. Well worth checking out if you like historical romances.
4 out of 5 stars
I received this ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.