Friday, October 04, 2013

Review: HOW TO ENTICE AN ENCHANTRESS -- Karen Hawkins



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HOW TO ENTICE AN ENCHANTRESS – Karen Hawkins
The Duchess Diaries, Book 3
Pocket Books
ISBN: 978-1-4516-8522-0 (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-4516-8525-1 (eBook)
October 2013
Historical Romance

Floors Castle, Scotland, circa 1813

The Duchess of Roxburghe is a matchmaker extraordinaire. With no children of her own, she dotes on her sister’s grandchildren and her own many godchildren. She recently successfully matched up two of the three Misses Balfour, Rose and Lily. Now it’s Dahlia’s turn. She has in mind for her one of her more difficult cases, but she’s never yet failed to make a match at one of her house parties.

Dahlia Balfour loves her father, her sisters, the outdoors, and is mad for books. She devours anything that comes to hand…history, adventure, poetry, classics, but what turns her head at present are romances. She wants to find true love as her sisters have. Dahlia thought she might have found it once, but the man’s feet proved to be made of clay. She has little opportunity to meet eligible men in the country, so she accepts the invitation to attend her godmother’s house party, leading up to a Christmas ball.

Viscount Alasdair Kirk married very young and lost his wife in an accident at sea that left him with a facial scar and a bum leg. That was seven years ago. Since that time he’s become a short-tempered recluse and lost all the manners he once might have had. He shunned all society but for a brief period when he came to know the bright young woman from a neighboring estate with whom he could talk of books. He decided that she would make a compatible wife and so told her they should marry, but she refused his logical argument.

Alasdair once did the duchess a  favor—she’s not above a little well meant trickery to get her way—by making a loan to Sir Balfour, who is a fine man whose great hobby is breeding roses…to the detriment of his fortune. When Kirk then called in the loan, Lily Balfour was forced to accept the duchess’s invitation to a house party. (But that’s another story, see book two of The Duchess Diaries, HOW TO PUSUE A PRINCESS.) Now Kirk asks a favor in return…match him up with Dahlia Balfour. The duchess and her companion put him through two grueling months of tailors and lessons in moving in polite society.

So now we have the two together at the duchess’s castle, but by this time Dahlia hates Kirk for pressuring her father to repay the loan he spent on his roses (part of the above mentioned trickery). And though Alasdair’s appearance is much improved, and he mingles fairly well, he’s still not the most empathetic and tactful of gentlemen. He thinks romance is for the young and foolish. Is the duchess facing her first failure?

If you like a hero and heroine who begin poles apart, you’ll love HOW TO ENTICE AN ENCHANTRESS. Alasdair can’t help putting his clay foot in his mouth; and Dahlia can’t help being drawn to the man and being disappointed again, thus making for entertaining scenes. Because it’s a house party there are lots of different personality types to play against the scarred hero and the open and friendly heroine, and other storylines to add richness to the plot.

The Duchess Diaries are a fun series that began with HOW TO CAPTURE A COUNTESS, in which the duchess matches her last single grandnephew with Rose Balfour. HOW TO ENTICE AN ENCHANTRESS stands very well on its own, but if you haven’t already read the earlier works, I highly recommend all three.

Jane Bowers

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