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Thursday, April 03, 2008


****½ Splendid by Julia Quinn. Historical romance.

American heiress Emma Dunster has no intention of finding a husband when she agrees to a season in London. She intends to go back to America and run her father's shipping business, though given the prevailing attitudes, that's not likely to happen. But while she's in London, she plans on simply having fun and getting to know her cousins.

Emma is dressed as a maid, running an errand for the cook, when she rescues a young boy from being run over by a carriage. She's knocked out and is rescued in turn by the boy's uncle, Alexander Ridgely, the notorious Duke of Ashbourne.

Alexander is similarly opposed to marriage, but he's attracted to the young maid, and decides to attend the ball at the home to which he returned her so he can see her again. At the ball, he learns her true identity, and is even more intrigued.

The sparks between the two grow along with a friendship, and Alexander finds himself spending more and more time at the society events he's long avoided, simply to be around Emma and keep her out of trouble.

Splendid is a lot of fun, and full of witty dialogue and humorous situations. It's always fun watching a reluctant pair fall in love despite their best intentions. Another thing I enjoyed about Splendid is that it didn't end with the wedding. Emma and Alexander had a little adjusting to do after their wedding, and it was refreshing to read a story where just the ceremony doesn't equal happy ever after.

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