Friday, October 16, 2015

Lord Fenton's Folly

Lord Fenton's FollyLord Fenton's Folly by Josi Kilpack

Lord Fenton is a gambler, a dandy, and a flirt-and he must marry or else he will be disinherited, stripped of his wealth and his position. He chooses Alice Stanbridge for two simple reasons: he once knew her as a young girl, and she is the least objectionable option available to him. However, Alice has harbored feelings for Fenton since their first meeting ten years ago, and she believes his proposal is real. When she discovers it is not, she is embarrassed and hurt. However, a match with the most-eligible bachelor in London would secure not only her future but that of her family as well. Determined to protect herself from making a fool of herself a second time, Alice matches Lord Fenton wit for wit and insult for insult as they move toward a marriage of convenience that is anything but a happy union. Only when faced with family secrets that have shaped Fenton's life does he let down his guard enough to find room in his heart for Alice.


Fenton groaned and put his saucer back on the tray, making an instantaneous decision that eased his mind quite a lot. To look at every woman he met as a potential wife was irritating, and after only two weeks he was quite tired of it. Perhaps the solution was to orchestrate a match that would not lay all aspects of matrimony at his feet all at once. Perhaps treating it as a business arrangement would help it to be exactly that, thereby freeing him from all the discomfiting realities he was not yet prepared to face. "I leave for Fentonview on Tuesday and shan't be back for a week. Courting is such a boring prospect, and you yourself said that to become infatuated with anyone might become a complication." He paused, considered one last time what he was going to say next, and decided he felt as good about it as could be expected. "You like Alice Stanbridge and feel she would make a good wife for me?"

Lady Chariton looked confused and perhaps a bit concerned. "I do, but-"

"Then that is good enough for me," Fenton said, rising to his feet and smiling broadly at his mother, who stared back at him in surprise. "I do find her appealing and what's more she is not a silly little thing without a practical thought in her head."

His mother's eyes widened and her eyebrows rose upon her forehead. Fenton struck a pose of consternation, with his thumb and forefinger on his chin as he looked toward the window a moment, then nodded crisply and turned back to his mother who still looked shocked by his pronouncement.

"Yes, I think that Alice Stanbridge is exactly what I should like in a wife, and so I shall see to it before I leave for Hampshire-I see no reason to wait until Michaelmas and might as well get it over with." He leaned in and kissed his mother's hand. "Thank you for your help, Mama. I shall let you know how she responds to my proposal."

My Review:

I loved it!

Josi S. Kilpack’s Lord Fenton’s Folly transports readers to the colorful ballrooms of 1800’s England. The many social rules and exquisite clothing, given in fascinating detail, makes it feel like another world, but the multi-faceted characters, and their struggles, are timeless. The love story is delightful in its complexity and its rocky path makes the ending all the more satisfying.

The story follows the complicated relationship of Alice, a young woman who feels out of place in society and her family, and the foppish Lord Fenton. Alice falls in love with the mischievous son of nobility as a child, but her marriage of convenience shatters all her youthful fantasies. As she navigates the treacherous grounds of her marriages to a man who confuses her with his fluctuating personality, she finds a strength and courage within herself. Her fortitude helps her troubled husband rethink his wasted life and dark past.

Lord Fenton tries to outrun his family’s dysfunctional history and secrets by refusing to accept responsibility. Alice’s quiet self-confidence and gentle guidance shows him a better way. But even more heartbreaking secrets come into the light and threaten to shatter the tentative peace between the couple. The truths that come out are shocking and devastating, but the characters find peace in each other. Though the romance is slow going, the love story is sweet and compelling because of all they face and overcome together.

The characters are wonderfully imperfect and resonate with what it means to be human. They both handle things badly at time, but try to learn from their mistakes. Though some learn faster than others. Their feisty debates bring some humor that breaks up the darker moments that can feel a bit oppressive at time. This is not a typical fluffy, perfect romance. It delivers a deeper plot and relationship woven into the social activities and events of this era that doesn’t disappoint.
A great read for those who enjoy poignant love stories and a little mystery. This clean romance will delight young women with their own dreams of happily-ever-after.


JosiAuthor Josi Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Sheep's Clothing won the Whitney award for Mystery/Suspense in 207 and Wedding Cake, book twelve in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series won in 2014. Josi was also the Best of State winner in Fiction for 2012. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband, children and super-cute - but not very friendly - cat.

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