Title: Lord Fenton's Folly
Author: Josi Kilpack
Series: A Proper Romance
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (October 6, 2015)
FTC, FYI : I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book Description for:Lord Fenton's Folly by Josi 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.
This is not your typical regency Romance, and with that I think I really liked it for it's uniqueness. As for main characters in the story, we have Alice who is looking for someone to love her for who she is, and she is a strong woman. I loved how Alice handled the hardships in her life and how she handled her new husband who wasn't always actively trying to be part of their marriage. Lord Fenton, Charles, is quite the character. At first he is painted as quite the dandy who is always making foolish choices to embarrass his father. As the story rolls along, many truths come out that explain his choices and who he really is. We discover these truths right along with poor Alice who is confused about how Charles is acting. Let's just say that Alice is very patient with the man.
I love Charles's mother, Lady Chariton. She is a saint of a woman who has been putting up with her husband's infidelities all of their marriage. She loves her son and is very loving and kind to her new daughter in law. I warmed instantly to her and how kind she was to Alice. Alice never knew her own mother who died in childbirth when she was born, so Lady Chariton touched Alice's heart from the beginning.
The Romance: wow it's a struggle all of the way! It is a rough start once Alice realizes why Charles asked her to marry him. Their banter is mean and sometimes funny, but it also made me feel so sad and uncomfortable for both of them. Their marriage starts out with no love, but soon both Alice and Charles can't stop the attraction they feel for each other. This is where I really started liking the romance/story, but it doesn't come until about 3/4 of the way into the story...so be patient!
There are many surprises that are revealed around this same time in the book, which I will not tell you about, but you may be able to figure it out sooner. I had my suspicions about them earlier. The good thing is, the family surprises bring Charles and Alice together as a couple. It helps Charles realize much about his father, mother and himself. I can assure you that there will be tears here as you read. This was my favorite part of the book when so many tender feelings are shown for many "things". I wish I could say more but don't want to spoil it for you. The ending is very satisfying and also has my favorite line in the book, "Within the essence of connection she realized there was purpose in the waiting." You will understand about that line, and hopefully you will agree that reading Lord Fenton's Folly is worth every minute it takes to read this clean, and proper romance.
Fenton groaned and put his saucer back on the tray, making an instantaneous decision that eased his mind quite a lot. To look at every woman he met as a potential wife was irritating, and after only two weeks he was quite tired of it. Perhaps the solution was to orchestrate a match that would not lay all aspects of matrimony at his feet all at once. Perhaps treating it as a business arrangement would help it to be exactly that, thereby freeing him from all the discomfiting realities he was not yet prepared to face.
"I leave for Fentonview on Tuesday and shan't be back for a week. Courting is such a boring prospect, and you yourself said that to become infatuated with anyone might become a complication." He paused, considered one last time what he was going to say next, and decided he felt as good about it as could be expected. "You like Alice Stanbridge and feel she would make a good wife for me?"
Lady Chariton looked confused and perhaps a bit concerned. "I do, but-"
"Then that is good enough for me," Fenton said, rising to his feet and smiling broadly at his mother, who stared back at him in surprise. "I do find her appealing and what's more she is not a silly little thing without a practical thought in her head." His mother's eyes widened and her eyebrows rose upon her forehead. Fenton struck a pose of consternation, with his thumb and forefinger on his chin as he looked toward the window a moment, then nodded crisply and turned back to his mother who still looked shocked by his pronouncement.
"Yes, I think that Alice Stanbridge is exactly what I should like in a wife, and so I shall see to it before I leave for Hampshire-I see no reason to wait until Michaelmas and might as well get it over with." He leaned in and kissed his mother's hand. "Thank you for your help, Mama. I shall let you know how she responds to my proposal."
Meet Author:Josi Kilpack
Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Sheep's Clothing won the Whitney award for Mystery/Suspense in 207 and Wedding Cake, book twelve in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series won in 2014. Josi was also the Best of State winner in Fiction for 2012. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband, children and super-cute - but not very friendly - cat.
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