In this dazzling finale to the latest trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather, the inimitable, anonymous Duncan sisters continue to earn a living-and a reputation-with their clandestine matchmaking service. But a handsome new client has thrown youngest sister Chastity into a professional, and quite personal, quandary.
Set in London during a time when traditionalism started giving way to modernization and suffragists challenged the status quo, this final installment in Feather's Matchmaker trilogy (The Bride Hunt, etc.) follows the nosy, righteous and sometimes self-righteous Duncan sisters as they tackle their toughest challenge yet-finding a wealthy, well-connected wife for a doctor who wants nothing to do with love. Douglas Farrell's businesslike approach to marriage immediately sets Chastity Duncan's teeth on edge, but as one of the secret owners of the suffragist scandal sheet The Mayfair Lady, to which Douglas has applied for matrimonial aid, she can't let her emotions cloud her business dealings. So Chastity finds the good doctor exactly what he has asked for. He soon realizes that he'd rather have Chastity, though. Douglas has a noble reason for seeking a marriage of convenience-he intends to use his spouse's money to set up a clinic in a city slum-but his haughty attitude toward aristocrats (who, he automatically assumes, care nothing for the poor) is off-putting. The book's conflict stems from a minor misunderstanding, and many of the goings-on are merely padding. But the primary romance, while lacking in passion and drama, holds enough charm to keep readers engaged. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 31, 2003
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Excerpt from The Wedding Game by Jane Feather
The gentleman standing at the top of the steps of the National Gallery closely scrutinized the assumed art lovers ascending towards the great doors of the art museum at his back. He held a prominently displayed copy of the broadsheet The Mayfair Lady. He was looking for someone flourishing a similar article.
A cloud of pigeons rose in a flurry from Trafalgar Square as a figure hastened across the square, scattering corn to the birds as she came. She crossed the street directly below the museum and paused at the bottom step, crushing the paper bag that had held the corn in her hand as she gazed upwards. She held a rolled-up newspaper in her free hand. The man made a tentative movement with his own broadsheet and the figure tossed the scrunched bag into a litter bin and hurried up the steps towards him.
That the figure was small and female was about all the gentleman could discern. She was swathed in a loose alpaca dust coat of the kind that ladies wore when motoring, and wore a broad-brimmed felt hat, her face obscured by an opaque chiffon veil.
"Bonjour, m'sieur," she greeted him. "I think we are to meet, n'est-ce pas?" She waved her copy of The Mayfair Lady. "You are Dr. Douglas Farrell, is it not so?"
"The very same, madam," he said with a small bow. "And you are... ?"
"I am ze Mayfair Lady, of course," she responded, her veil fluttering with each breath.
With the phoniest French accent he'd ever heard, Dr. Farrell reflected with some amusement. He decided not to call her on it just yet. "The Mayfair Lady in person?" he questioned curiously.
"The representative of ze publication, m'sieur," she responded with a note of reproof.
"Ah." He nodded. "And the Go-Between?"