Title: Duel of Hearts
Author: Diane Farr
Copyright: 2002 (Signet); 342 pgs.
Genre: Historical Romance
An only child, Delilah “Lilah” Chadwick is used to getting things her way. She’s stubborn and assertive, but not intentionally cruel or mean. She’s fond of her companion, Miss Pickney, loves her father, and plans to marry her father’s secretary — a man as mild-mannered and manageable as his employer. Lilah doesn’t understand why her father plans to remarry. She’s convinced that the woman, Eugenia, must be a fortune hunter. Lilah is determined to stop her father from making — she thinks — the biggest mistake of his life.
Adam Harleston, 9th Earl of Drakesley — known either as Drake or Drakesley — had planned on marrying his cousin Eugenia. Someday. He has no tolerance for managing females or fortune hunters. Eugenia is a quiet, unassuming lady and he is very fond of her. She is just the person he thinks will suit him. Having assumed the title practically from birth, Drake is used to having things his way. Though he clashes continuously with Lilah, he’s normally a polite and kind man, treating Miss Pinkney — a poor gentlewoman — with dignity and respect. He is convinced that Sir Horace Chadwick is some sort of rascal, who has lured the otherwise sensible Miss Mayhew astray. Like Lilah, Drake is equally determined to putting a stop to the marriage.
Lilah and Drake find themselves attracted to one another. However, they are convinced that they wouldn’t be happy together, that the passion would be intense and die out quickly — what burns the brightest, burns the briefest. Eugenia is the one who, by out-witting them both, makes them realize that they belong together.
It’s been over a year since I read this book. Lately, I found myself re-reading whole chapters, here and there. In fact, I read almost enough of the book to qualify as a re-read! Lilah reminds me a little of Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse and Georgette Heyer’s Sophy Stanton-Lacy. I found that I still liked Drake and Lilah, flaws and all, and I had forgotten how much I loved Drake’s great-aunt and uncle, Nat and Polly Peabody. I would recommend this to those looking for nothing more than kisses — those looking for a lot of steam in their romances would be disappointed.
Started: 7 September 2009
Finished: 21 September 2009