Hailed for her captivating blend of romance and sensuality, New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather has enchanted readers and critics alike. In this second book in her dazzling new trilogy, Constance, Prudence, and Chastity Duncan, London's most charming young matchmakers, are faced with a ruinous lawsuit-and it's up to the brainy, beautiful middle sister to extricate them.
The second entry in Feather's Matchmaker trilogy (following The Bachelor List) is a charming romp through 19th-century London featuring the Duncan sisters, who are trying to hold their family together financially by running a matchmaking service and producing the suffragist scandal sheet The Mayfair Lady. When the paper is sued for libel, Prudence Duncan enlists the help of fierce barrister Sir Gideon Malvern. Gideon is convinced their case is hopeless, but he can't deny the attraction he feels for stubborn, strong-willed Prue. Because she can't afford his fees, Gideon agrees to argue the case if she finds him a suitable bride, but before long, Gideon finds himself as involved with Prue as he is with the Mayfair Lady case. Readers may be surprised by the setting, which is unusual for historical romances; here the automobile and the telephone have already been invented. One amusing scene centers on a drive to the country, which takes three hours in Gideon's car (moving at its top speed of 20 miles an hour). Though this is Prue's story, both Constance and Chastity ably carry their portions of the novel, which will ensure that readers snap up the other two books in the series (each focusing on a sister and conveniently appearing in consecutive months). (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 31, 2003
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Excerpt from The Bride Hunt by Jane Feather
Here you are, Miss Prue." Mrs. Beedle took a pile of envelopes from a top shelf in her kitchen. "Quite a few of them today. This one looks very serious." She selected a long thick vellum envelope from the sheaf and peered quite unselfconsciously at the printed heading.
Prudence sipped her tea and made no attempt to hurry her hostess. Mrs. Beedle moved at her own pace and had her own way of doing things . . . very much like her brother, Jenkins -- a man who combined his duties as butler with those of friend, assistant, and sometimes partner in crime to the three Duncan sisters in the house on Manchester Square.
"Any news of Miss Con?" Mrs. Beedle inquired, finally setting the envelopes on the well-scrubbed pine table and reaching for the teapot.
"Oh, we had a wire yesterday. They're in Egypt at the moment." Prudence pushed her cup across to be refilled. "But they've visited Rome and Paris on the way. It seems like a wonderful trip."
She sounded slightly wistful, and, indeed, the six weeks of her elder sister's honeymoon had passed very slowly for Prudence and her younger sister, Chastity, left behind in London. The sheer effort of keeping their household running smoothly, eking out their meager finances, all the while ensuring that their father's willful ignorance of the family's financial situation remained undisturbed, took a much greater toll when there were only two of them to manage it. On occasion in the last weeks, Prudence and Chastity had both had to fight the temptation to force their father to acknowledge reality, a reality that he had caused by a more than foolish investment just after their mother's death. But the memory of their mother had kept them silent. Lady Duncan would have protected her husband's peace of mind at all costs, so her daughters must do the same.