Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: Caroline and the Duke by Sabrina Darby (short story)


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Caroline is finally out of mourning and is free to do anything and pursue anyone she wants and she chooses John, the Duke of Sutbridge. To everyone else, it looks like a random choice -- a lark. But not for Caroline, who has waited ten years, suffering through a cold marriage, to finally answer the question: "What If?" And it is the same for John, who, at 20, had thought he had found "the one" only to see her married to someone else two months later. He waited ten years and loved her from afar -- but now they are finally free to be with each other.

When Caroline's husband had died, his nascent hope had been tempered by the passion with which she had celebrated her sudden freedom. He hadn't again dared to imagine ...

Until she came to him.

Sutbridge lifted the heavy iron knocker. Let it fall.

Thud.

He could hear a carriage pass by behind him. Feel the vibrations of its progress through the ground beneath his feet. The wait was appalling. It gave him far too much time to think, to doubt the wisdom of coming here. But he'd spent ten years wishing for something he couldn't have.

And now he could
- pp. 28-29

John wants marriage, but Caroline is done with that institution and is only seeking fun. What happens next? It's emotional and insightful and, when John says, "Because I only wanted you." (p. 35), the feeling, the effect of those words swells up inside of you and carries you away with Caroline. The inclusion of John's sister, Lady Julia, who also happens to be Caroline's "frenemy" was a great decision -- she serves as an excellent foil to Caroline and, through both of them, we get a glimpse into the lives of married women in those times.

"Really, Caro, I won't let you near my daughter with that sort of speech."

Caroline laughed, pleased that she had some sort of unmeasured reaction from her friend. "You, with your string of lovers and a husband still sharing your bed on the odd night? You are one to talk."
- p. 3

More and more, I am convinced that, when Sabrina Darby finally writes her full-length historical romance novel, it will blow my mind. (According to her website, she's signed on to write full-length romances. Yay!) To date, she has showcased her incredible talent and voice writing in the short format and I have loved all of them. All of them. And this latest one, Caroline and The Duke, is no exception.

To find out more about Sabrina Darby and her books, click below:
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