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Romance novels are not my favorite type of novel. I much prefer historical fiction and mysteries. Recently, I had the opportunity to review a romance, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey by Carolyn Miller. I wasn’t sure that I would like it, but much to my surprise, I quite enjoyed it, in part because this romance is also part historical fiction.
About The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey
Set in Napoleon’s time, this book takes the reader into the world of dukes, counts, viscounts, etc. I confess that I do not know the social order of these titles, so I was fascinated to read how much they affected people’s every day lives.
Clara DeLancey was to marry Lord Hawkesbury. However, they were never formally engaged, and he ended up marrying someone else. When the story opens, Clara is despondent, her broken romance only one of the reasons. She is at the cliffs, standing at the edge, contemplating suicide. She loses her footing and a nearby Good Samaritan rescues her.
Clara used to be one of the shining beauties of high society, but rejection by Lord Hawkesbury as well as her older brother gambling away her dowry left her feeling unworthy and rejected. While her mother continues to promote her in high society despite the scandals, Clara is miserable because she knows everyone is talking about her.
She meets Tessa and Mattie Kemsley, and though surprised by their brazenness, she enjoys their company and finds her first true friends. When she meets their brother Benjamin, she is frantic because she recognizes him as the good Samaritan who saved her. He, however, does not recognize her and soon finds himself enamored or her, and she, him. The problem is that he isn’t titled.
Much of the book details the societal “dance” that Benjamin Kemsley and Clara must perform before they are allowed to be together. For much of the book, it looks impossible, but nothing is truly impossible. I found myself reading eagerly to see if true love would prevail despite the lack of titles. This book made me glad I live now, where true love is allowed to endure, title or not.
If you’d like to read more books by Carolyn Miller, consider Misleading Miss Verity, which I also reviewed and enjoyed!
I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.
Note: I received this book from Kregel Publications in routine for my honest review. All opinions are my own.