The Lost Duke of Wyndham
Being the companion to the dowager Duchess of Wyndham is no easy job, as Grace Eversleigh, said companion for far too many years, can attest. But if being the dowager’s companion is unpleasant, being her hithertofore unknown grandson is far worse, as Jack Audley, former highwayman and all-round adventurer is about to learn. The Lost Duke of Wyndham is a Regency romance that sets the stage for a sequel that sounds far more interesting. Although the dialogue occasionally sparkles between Grace and Jack, far too many scenes consist of one or the other of this pair reflecting incredulously on how much one of them is falling for the other. Suspension of disbelief is a given with some story premises, but far too often here, events hinge on the improbable. Take, for instance, the entirely contrived nature of Grace, Jack, and the dowager’s first meeting: what are the chances that the highwayman who happens upon the dowager’s coach one evening would turn out to be the son of her best-loved, long-deceased son, a fact that the dowager instantly ascertains though she can only see Jack’s eyes? As Jack’s chosen profession plays no further role in the story, it seems unnecessarily unbelievable. Sadly not up to the quality of some of Quinn’s other entertaining works.