Antonia, Duchess of Roxton, loves with her whole heart when she lost her loving, devoted husband - her heart was broken and she just didn't know how to mend it. She had the love and devotion of sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren but her reluctance to cast off the black mourning clothing and rejoin society was weighing on them all. The more exasperated her son Julian became the more angst was between the mother and son. Even the grandchildren were affected by this undercurrent of tension and concern. Thinking medical intervention the only recourse Julian sets up a therapy that unknown to him put more than Antonia's emotional health at stake.
Perhaps there was a bit of fate that brought Jonathan Strang to London and luckily for the Duke's family this merchant was proving to be resolute in his attendance to society functions with two goals. One was to help his daughter Sarah-Jane find the man of her dreams. The other slightly more nefarious as Jonathan was set upon having returned family owned lands misappropriated by the Duke's ancestors many years ago. When Jonathan sees Antonia he is immediately taken with her great beauty but at the same time puzzled about this young woman dressed as a widow and yet in attendance at a social function. This was rather incongruous at best but that is why it peaked his curiosity. Meeting and spending time with Antonia was leaving Jonathan filled with care and longing for this beautiful, witty and beguiling woman but he was mindful of her stature. However events would happen that superseded his desire to maintain that level of respect - events that put her welfare at risk. Definitely overstepping his bounds Jonathan knew that above all else protecting this woman who was coming to mean so much to him was his number one priority and society be damned.
Interesting little twist of fate is the fact that one of the estates Jonathan is claiming is none other than the dowager house where the lovely Antonia now a widow resides. That could truly be a large wrinkle in his plans. But there are stronger ill winds blowing in London that will ultimately reduced all others to mere inconveniences. Talk of spies are pervasive and making neighbors suspicious of neighbors to the point where investigations are beginning to invade the privacy of some very important high ranking people. Anyone with connections to the French is already being eyed as possible spies. This causes some great concerns in the Roxton household considering that the Duchess is French and although living in London with her husband the Duke for so many years French has been the primary language of the household.
Once again Lucinda Brant provides the reader with an extraordinary look into polite society of years gone by and made sure we were aware of all their foibles. No lack for adventure and suspense in her latest foray into London's society. Autumn Duchess definitely moves up the ranks to one of my historical romance favorites.
A beautiful duchess mourns for her beloved.
A sun-bronzed merchant returns to claim a birthright.
Disparate souls in need of love and renewal.
Paths cross and the journey begins...
Set in Hampshire England in 1777, AUTUMN DUCHESS tells the story of Antonia, heroine of NOBLE SATYR, and how she emerges from utter despair after the death of her husband and soul mate the Duke of Roxton to unexpectedly find love again. - Georgian Time Period