Stephanie Laurens: Four in Hand

She was unquestionably a lady. Still, that had never stopped him before. He could see that she was not, he thought, that young. Even better. Another twinge of pain from behind his eyes lent a harshness to his voice. “Who the devil are you?” In no way discomposed, she answered, “My name is Caroline Twinning. And if you really are the Duke of Twyford, then I’m very much afraid I’m your ward . . . “

Max Rotherbridge couldn’t believe it. Along with the dukedom of Twyford, he — London’s most notorious rogue — had inherited wardship of four devilishly attractive sisters! Including the irresistible Caroline Twinning. The eldest Twinning was everything he had ever wanted in a woman, but even Max couldn’t seduce his own ward . . . or could he? After all, he did have a substantial reputation to protect. And what better challenge than the one woman capable of stealing his heart?

Caroline has three half sisters.  Incredibly beautiful, skillfull and witty, they are instantly Incomparables in Town.  On a determined search for husbands, the girls are all swarmed by admirers…but there is one problem.  Twinning beauties have always fallen for rakes.

The story is mostly Caroline and the Duke, but we also get to spend a fair amount of time with Arabella, Sarah and Lizzie.  Trying to get four rakes “in hand”, the girls launch themselves on the haute ton with skillful maneuvering.

Its a fun book, chock full of love and romance and perfect for bite size reading.  There is not much depth (how can there be when you are trying to tell four love stories in one novel?!) and the conflict is basically marriage versus carte blanche.  But nonetheless, it moves at a quick clip and is full of sweet moments.

If you like uncomplicated, especially during the tumble and rumble holiday season, then Four in Hand is the perfect companion.  If you like depth and breadth and history and emotion, save it for another time.

 

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