Thursday, March 9, 2023

BOOK REVIEW: Entangled by Mary Lancaster

I received this book for free from Netgalley. That did not influence this review.

Mary Lancaster is one of my go-to authors for reliably entertaining, fast-paced Regency Romance. Her newest series, The Duel, begins with Entangled.

Major Giles Butler is an honorable commander in the King’s army. So when he overhears a slander against his superior officer, who was recently killed in battle, he takes offense. Boldly. Unfortunately, the slanderer is an arrogant duke who doubles down on his insults to save face. Insults are exchanged. A challenge is made. The next morning, the duke is dead. Knowing better than to kill a peer in a duel, Giles had aimed wide but still hit the man.

Giles intends to submit to his punishment, but not until Bonaparte is defeated. So he must hurry back to his ship and return to the fray before he is apprehended by the law. But first, he feels duty-bound to make his apologies to the widow. He changes his mind, though, when he reaches the duke’s estate and realizes that his presence would likely just cause her more pain. Then, hovering at the outskirts, he sees a young woman sneaking about who seems determined to make a getaway from the estate.

Rosamund, the Duchess of Cuttyngham, has no idea that she is now a widow. But she does know that she is miserable, having been neglected and controlled for years. There is no love lost between her and her husband and she doubts he’ll bother to come looking for her. She has purchased a small cottage in a distant county where she intends to live quietly and work as an herbalist.

The two meet. Giles offers to escort her to the nearest town. They maintain anonymity for a while, but before long their innate honesty leads them to confess to one another. That and the fact that the duke’s death becomes news and Rosamund realizes she has to return home for the funeral.

In the meantime, the two have fallen for each other. The rest is a race to outrun the law as well as a couple of villains who have it out for Rosamund. (One is a stalker and one is a cousin of the deceased who is hellbent on becoming the next duke.)

The villains are stock characters, as are Tom and Izzy, two very young gentlefolk who are impetuously eloping and need guidance that Rosamund is quick to provide. The side characters are necessary to the plot but are lackluster.

The chemistry between the hero and heroine is believable and readers will want them to find a way to be together, despite the fact that one murdered the spouse of the other. The HEA ending is a bit too pat, but loose ends are tied up adequately. Although this is not my favorite of Lancaster’s novels, it does provide an interesting entree into a new Romance series.

1 comment:

  1. Glad that you enjoyed this one

    Thanks for sharing this review with the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.