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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Twice Ruined by Pascale Duguay

Twice Ruined by Pascale Duguay
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (200 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

A troublesome miss and an unadventurous Earl are forced into marriage - can physical desire overcome their aversion to an unwanted union?

Renowned for her tendency to get into mischief, Miss Patience Bingham flees her home to escape a marriage of convenience. The last thing she expects when she sets out is to find herself thoroughly compromised and engaged to a singularly handsome but conventional Earl! Will her strong physical attraction to this man be enough to overcome her fear of being trapped in a loveless marriage?

Lord Julius Rutherford, Fifth Earl of Hawkridge, thinks he has his future all laid out until he accidentally comes upon the hellion that nearly burned down his house ten years before. Although Patience has grown into a desirable woman who now has the ability to set his blood on fire, Julius soon discovers her mere presence can still spell disaster. But can Julius succumb to his burning need for Patience and marry her, knowing full well it will mean the end of his well-ordered existence?

Patience Bingham’s life is thrown into a tizzy when her ne’er-do-well father and his miserly sixty-year-old friend Sir Rupert Carlton concoct a scheme to benefit themselves at Patience’s expense. Determined to outwit them, she escapes only to run onto the self-important, handsome Julius Rutherford, Earl of Hawkridge, whom she did not recognize even though she had been the bane of his life ten years ago when he was just a pimply-faced atrocious boy. Thrown together in unplanned circumstances, Patience’s reputation could be irreparably damaged. She must someway outfox three “know-it-all” men of Regency England—no small task. However, the feisty Patience, with her down-to-earth approach to life, sets out to give it her best shot.

Patience’s foibles, even as a child, have interrupted the peace and still do even though she is almost twenty-one years old. Her intelligence and abundance of energy along with an innate sense of humor make her a favorite of the servants and local people whom she helps. They benefit from her kind heart and skills. They respect the petite, green-eyed “Miss Patty” that has an endearing charm about her even while she struggles with meager funds to keep her father’s household functioning while he gambles away everything he can get his hands on.

Lord Julius Rutherford, the Fifth Earl of Hawkridge grew from the pimply-faced boy into a handsome, arrogant man, who took to heart the saying—“neglect does not lead to prosperity”. When he inherited the estate that his father had neglected, he set in to put it back in order and make it prosperous. Aware he needs a wife who can produce an heir, he makes as list of qualification for his bride—wellborn, impeccable manners, amiable, intelligent in mind and conversation, tall, beautiful, and most important of all deferential to him in all things. What fun for the reader to see how this works out!

While the plot is predictable, the messes Patience and Julius get into plus the antics of Jessup Marlowe (the highwayman), Patience’s Aunt Louisa, and Lady Henrietta Rutherford create makes for delightful humor throughout the story. Of course, the unscrupulous scheming of Patience’s father, Sir Rupert Carlton, and the jealous Cecilia Arlington creates tense moments and “by-the-skin-of her- teeth” escapes for Patience. In addition Julius’s cousin and ward Philip supplies the catalyst that pushes Julius right where he needs to be even if he does feel rebellious about it.

Pascale Duguay entertains and tickles the funny-bone while delighting the reader with a love story full of adventure, drama, and make-believe that keeps the reader turning pages and cheering for Patience. Twice Ruined sparkles as it zips along headed toward its happy-ever-after.