Every great family has a few secrets. The wild Randalls of Hampshire excel at them.
A lady should be the image of elegance and calm, but those words have never applied to Mercy, Duchess of Romsey. A widow and mother, Mercy is lonely and floundering to keep the estate afloat. When she discovers the existence of Leopold Randall, her husband’s estranged cousin, Mercy immediately offers to help him locate his missing siblings if he helps her return the estate to order.
Leopold has returned to Hampshire for only one purpose—to learn the fate of his missing siblings. Unfortunately, the current duchess is clueless and out of her depth. Her struggle tugs at Leopold’s sense of duty and her bold nature tempts him unbearably. When Leopold discovers their lives are forever entwined, he vows to protect Mercy and her innocent son.
Wild Randalls Series
Book 1: Engaging the Enemy (Leopold and Mercy)
Book 2: Forsaking the Prize (Tobias and Blythe)
Book 3: Guarding the Spoils (Oliver and Elizabeth)
Book 4: Hunting the Hero (Constantine and Rosemary)
Engaging the Enemy
Engaging story and very good characters!
Contrived, with Continuity Issues
When Boyd wrote this story, she avoided pronouns when referencing her villain, whose gender was unknown. Consequently, when she updated the story, she only used “they” as a singular pronoun in a couple of paragraphs.
While I support the use of “they” as a gender neutral substitute for “he” and “she,” not everyone does. Due to this controversy, many consider this usage to be modern and thus, incongruous in a 19th century setting.
Even so, there are valid reasons for using “they” as a singular pronoun in historical fiction. To minimize the resulting continuity issues, such usage should be found, as appropriate, throughout the story.
In this instance, as Boyd simply wanted the reader to realize that the villain could be either a man or a woman, the extremely limited use of “they” as a singular pronoun was unforgivably incongruous. This is especially so as Boyd had repeatedly made her point prior to such usage.
As there are no societal concerns at stake, Boyd should have continued, for another couple of paragraphs, to avoid pronouns when referencing the villain. By doing so, she would have eliminated an incongruous distraction from the story.
Additionally, the conception (and resulting parentage) of the child was so jarringly contrived as to be irritating. Furthermore, every time the hero thought of the child as his, I wondered if he’d be so heroic if the child was not.
Engaging the Enemy