Jun 7, 2014

The Duke's Holiday by Maggie Fenton (The Regency Romp Trilogy #1)

The Duke's Holiday by Maggie Fenton
Genre: Historical Romance
Bottom Line: An adorably funny opposites-attract romance with a prissy Duke and an outspoken country girl.

Synopsis (Goodreads):

The Duke of Montford, cold, precise, and more powerful than the Prince Regent himself, wants things the way he wants them: cross-referenced, indexed, and at his beck and call. And he always gets what he wants. 

Until he meets Astrid Honeywell. And a giant pig. And a crooked castle in the middle of Yorkshire. 

Astrid Honeywell, staunch bluestocking, has struggled for years to keep her family together by running the estate and family brewery after her father's death. She is not about to let the tyrannical Duke of Montford steal away all she has worked for because of some antiquated contract between their families. So when the priggish Duke comes to call, she does everything in her power -- including setting the family pig on him -- to drive him away. 

She didn't expect him to be so ... well, infuriatingly attractive. Every time he scowls at her, she has the most improper desire to kiss him -- and a whole lot more. 

Montford can't decide whether to strangle Astrid or seduce her. The one thing he knows for a fact is that he must resist his powerful attraction for her at all costs. He has a very proper, very demure fiancĂ©e waiting for him back in London, after all. But when Astrid is kidnapped by a disgruntled suitor and whisked off to Gretna Green, Montford will do anything to get her back. 

Will these two drive each other to Bedlam ... or can they make it to the altar without killing each other? 

Includes an OCD Duke, a fiery heroine, mistaken identities, errant livestock, pompadours, drunken declarations, a touch of smex, and enough witty banter to sink a ship. 

My Thoughts:

I can tell I'll enjoy a book when the Dedication makes me giggle. This is a perfect "opposites attract" romantic comedy in historical romance novel form. Montford is incredibly OCD, and he seems to surround himself with other OCD people. Aside from this, he is humorously prissy. Honestly, it's disgusting. I feel like he was going to cry every time his cravat was wrinkled...or murder someone. So, of course, when he is forced to confront Astrid, the messiest, least respectable lady he has ever met, hilarity ensues.

Astrid and Montford both had their faults. They were far from the perfect characters, but I thought it aided in the humor and lightness of the story. Astrid's methods of retaliating against Montford were pretty darn juvenile for a 26 year old woman, considering she often demonstrated her displeasure by throwing mud or food at him. Yet, mixed with Montford throwing a hissy-fit every time he got even a speck of mud on his boots, I found their childish interactions pretty cute and funny.

The romance between Astrid and Montford was nice...not as hot as I expected, but average steaminess for a historical romance. There was passion, but I think the humor and lightness dominated in this story (which is not bad at all--sometimes I want to just laugh.)  The one thing that bothered me was that Montford continued to insult Astrid for the "wrongness" of her bright red hair, mismatched eyes, and plumper body...even after he started to care for her. I understand that part of this was just that her appearance messed with his OCD, but come on--you don't have to say the woman you are attracted to is ugly! Besides, heterochromia is awesome. I want different colored eyes.

This was a wonderful, funny romance and a great book for an evening of reading. I can't wait to see more from Fenton.        

Rating: 9

Find it on: Amazon | Goodreads | Maggie Fenton        

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