Wulfric Bedwyn, a wealthy duke with a glacial personality, agrees to attend a house party with the expectation he will have a quiet and companionable two weeks with frinds. To his chagrin, the house party turns out to be a noisy social affair in honor of the engagement of a young relative of the hostess. To his further chagrin, he is the target of many attempts at flirtation because the young ladies at the house party made a bet among themselves to see who would be the first to engage the chilly duke's attention for an hour. To the surprise of many, Christine, a 29 year old impoverished widow with a flair for finding herself in absurd situations, wins the bet. She also wins a proposition from the duke to be his handsomely paid mistress - an offer which she, naturally, rejects out of hand.
The romance between the duke and Christine is farily closely modelled after the romance between Darcy and Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. The duke fights his initial attraction to Christine, then eventually proposes marriage in such a disrespectful manner as to make his rejection inevitable. THey meet on several occasions after the house party and Christine comes to know and understand the man behind the duke. In true Pride and Prejudice fashion, Christine realizes in the end how perfectly suited they are for each other despite superficial appearances. T
This report prepared by maggie roberts
In the sixth and final book of the Bedwyn series, Wulfric Bedwyn, the Duke of Bewcastle, is finally awarded his chance at love. Wulf, lonely after a recent turn in life, with the marriage of his last sibling and the death of his mistress of ten years, decides to do something totally out of character and attend a country house party.
The invitation, which was verbally given, throws the hostess into a frenzy when she does not have an equal amount of men and women attending, so she forces her cousin, the widow Christine Derrick, to attend.
Christine is an accident waiting to happen, while Wulf is known for his stiff and unbending ways. In their first encounter, Christine drips lemonade in Wulf's eye, then she runs headlong into him on a path, next she falls out of a tree, and so on, showing Wulf, who is undeniably attracted to her that they are completely unsuited. Christine, too, feels attraction for the Duke, but feels he is completely wrong for since they are so opposite in every way imaginable. They give into their attraction the final night of the ball though, and have one night of memorable passion.
They separate on angry terms, even though was convinced that their coming together involved no emotion, and are brought together again for the wedding of a mutual friend, which reignites their dormant passion. Even though both know they are wrong for each other, they can not seem to think of any other.
This report prepared by Angel Manners
Christine Derrick is an impoverished widow of the "lower gentry." Invited to a house party by noble relatives, she catches the attention of Wulfric Bedwyn, the wealthy, powerful, and "slightly dangerous" Duke of Bewcastle. The Duke is captivated by her sunny personality, but feels any match between the two is impossible due to her signifcantly lower social standing. Despite his misgivings, he proposes, but when she refuses his rather insulting proposal, he learns that it will take more than money and power to win Christine's hand.
This report prepared by Stephanie B.
Delacorte, Jun 2004, 20.00, 352 pp.
Christine Derrick was married to Oscar for seven years, but their happiness together ended when he began accusing her of trysts. Now a widow of two years, Christine never goes to social events for she does not want to run into her in-laws, who for the most think she cuckolded her spouse.
A close friend Lady Melanie Renable forces Christine to attend a two week gala. At the party, Christine is treated with polite contempt by Oscar's family with a few exceptions. Lonely guest Wulfric Bedwyn mourns the death of his mistress of ten years. Following a lemonade incident, he finds himself shockingly attracted to Christine who ignores his ducal title as she just wants to go home to hide in her corner. As they hang together as party outsiders or as much as a duke can remain aloof from others, they fall in love, but there remains the wager that substantiates what her in-laws believe about the capriciousness of Christine.
This is an entertaining Regency romance though the condemnation of her in-laws based on rumor fueled by Oscar seems off kilter. The story line is fun to follow as both the lead characters have reasons to leave. The support cast enhances the tale by how they behave towards the Duke and the fallen woman. Fans will appreciate this delightful tale, but insist that a certain close male friend find his happiness soon.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner