Copyright 2009 - Originally published in 1948
Sourcebooks - Fiction/Historical
Almost every time I read a book by Georgette Heyer, I find myself saying, "Ooooh, this is my new favorite!" and it's happened, again.
The Foundlingtells the story of the cosseted Duke of Sale, who is tired of having loads of people attend to his needs and decides to sneak off to help his cousin out of a fix, in part so he can see what it's like to be "Mr. Dash, of Nowhere in Particular". First, though, he asks his childhood friend Harriet for her hand in marriage because it's expected of him. He doesn't think it will be the most exciting marriage, but he likes her and has been told marriage isn't supposed to be thrilling . . . and that he can always find himself a mistress.
The Duke calls himself "Mr. Rufford" (one of his titles is Baron Ware of Rufford) when he goes off to extract cousin Matthew from a breach of promise claim and then ends up with Matthew's former crush -- a stunningly beautiful airhead named Belinda (a "foundling", or orphan) -- and a teenage boy, who plans to sneak off to London for similar reasons to the Duke's, tagging along. The Duke gets into all sorts of tangles and has to eventually ask Harriet to help him deal with Belinda. In the process, the Duke realizes his own inner strength and resources are not lacking and discovers there's more to Harriet than meets the eye.
5/5 - A wonderful book. It's funny, adventurous and, toward the end, romantic in a tender and touching way that falls short of being gushy.
My thanks to Danielle at Sourcebooks for the review copy.