December 31, 2019

Much Ado About a Widow

By Jenna Jaxon
Review by

Lady Georgina Kirkpatrick would love a reason to not marry the loathsome Lord Travers as her father has decreed. She just wasn’t expecting a kidnapping mere weeks before the planned wedding day.

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Lady Georgina Kirkpatrick would love a reason to not marry the loathsome Lord Travers as her father has decreed. She just wasn’t expecting to be kidnapped mere weeks before the planned wedding day. And she certainly wasn’t expecting to be kidnapped twice. After escaping her captors—er, her first (and worst) set of captors—she’s swept away against her will again, but this time into the custody of Robin Kerr, Marquess of St. Just, her brother’s best friend. His intentions are chivalrous, even if his methods are infuriating. As a woman alone, traveling with only her maid and temperamental spaniel, Rob knows that Georgie needs his protection to keep from falling back into her (original) kidnappers’ clutches, whether she’ll admit it or not. And if protecting her means locking her into a cabin on his ship and sailing her to his castle in Cornwall, that’s what he’ll do. What he doesn’t expect is to find her company shifting from an aggravation to a torment of quite a different sort as the fiery-haired, fiery-hearted widow sparks a desire in him like nothing he’s ever known.

Unfortunately, Rob isn’t the only man that Georgie has driven into a state of madness. As their journey progresses, they’ll be chased by her irate father, her bewildered but indignant brother, a slew of hired hands deputized into capturing her and—most sinisterly of all—Lord Travers, who orchestrated the first kidnapping himself to compromise Georgie so thoroughly that she’d never be able to escape him. No pirate could ever be more hounded than Rob for this treasure he’s stolen, but as the passion between them strengthens and grows, his love for her becomes something he’ll defy any authority to protect. And Georgie herself, who starts out the story so listless and resigned, bowing to her father’s authority and certain she’s buried any hope of love with her late husband, finds a new, maverick drive to seize this second chance at happiness. She even proves willing to fight—with kicks, curses, flying chamber pots and a feisty dog—against anyone who tries to take it away.

There’s a delightful cheekiness to Jenna Jaxon’s playful Regency adventure, a refusal to take the rules and dictates of family and high society all that seriously. Jaxon doesn’t shy away from displaying how very vulnerable a woman was in that time and place—an undesirable suitor could manipulate her into an unwanted match, or her family could have her committed to Bedlam for being contrary. But while the dangers are real, Georgie’s response to them is charmingly cathartic as she shows that even a woman with precious little autonomy over her courtships or her fortune can still have her own mind and make her own choices. With humor and heart, Jaxon shows that love—and a liberated woman—will always find a way.

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