After so much sugary temptation over the holidays, I confess I developed a bit of a sweet tooth. So, even after reading several other “clean” Regencies, I dived into the Candace Hern bookshelf to find the next read.
A Garden Folly was in keeping with this month’s randomly met theme of disguises. This time, its the Duke who goes undercover in a quest for love. He is a botanist who hates the toadying of Ton. She is an impoverished Baron’s daughter on the hunt for a fortune.
When Catherine and her sister, with the help of Aunt Hetty, are invited to the Duchesses’ annual house party, Catherine is thrilled by her good fortune. Its the perfect opportunity to don her best party dress and catch a rich husband.
Meanwhile, the Duke is hiding out and away from the house party…
So the plot is not entirely unexpected. But neither is it overly formulaic. The characters are honest and full of fault, and what is absolutely delicious is following them through the gardens with their many follies. (Groan, I know. I couldn’t resist being a bit cheeky with that title).
It is lighthearted and humorous, although not lol funny. There is also the element of the Cinderella story in there that is so near and dear to my heart. I did feel a bit unresolved at the ending with some untidy subplots left unfinished, but as the last pages happily informed me the story would continue…in another book.
Hern writes simply, without too much emphasis on over complicated plots or in depth character studies. I find her books refreshing in their nuance, and although told with a more contemporary tongue, in the tradition of Jane.
Recommendation Score: 4.2/5 Wasn’t a perfect book, but still highly enjoyable!
Mature Content Rating: 2/5 For some serious make out sessions and mentions of mistresses. Other than that, clean as a whistle.
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