The Debutante’s Dilemma

By Elyse Mady

Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: November 8, 2010
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Netgalley

One woman in search of passion

Miss Cecilia Hastings has achieved what every young lady hopes for during her first London season…in duplicate! She’s caught the eye of not one but two of England’s most eligible bachelors. Both Jeremy Battersley, Earl of Henley, and Richard Huxley, Duke of Wexford are handsome, wealthy and kind, the epitome of proper gentlemen. But Cecelia doesn’t want proper, she wants passion. So she issues a challenge to her suitors: a kiss, so that she may choose between them.

Two men in love with the same woman

Friends since childhood, and compatriots on the battlefields of Spain, falling for the same woman has set Jeremy and Richard at odds, and risks destroying their friendship forever. But a surprising invitation to a late-night garden tryst soon sets them on a course that neither of them could have anticipated. And these gentlemen quickly discover that love can take many forms…

Goodreads Summary

When Jeremy Battersley, Earl of Henley, announces to his best friend Richard Huxley, Duke of Wexford, that he’s found the woman of his dreams and he’s finally ready to settle down, he has no idea he’s set in motion a series of events that will either tear the two men apart or seal them together forever.  Each of them has fallen head over heels in love with a beautiful debutante of the season in London; unfortunately, it’s the same one, the very lovely Cecelia Hastings.

Cecelia is considered the most rousing success of the season; secretly envied by all of the other debutantes, pursued by the two most eligible bachelors in all of England, but she wants more.  Aware that both have approached her father with marriage proposals, she’s frustrated that neither made even the smallest gesture of affection towards her nor bothered to ask her for her hand.  Determined never to have a loveless marriage of convenience only, she hatches a plan to meet the men one at a time to ask them to prove their ardor for her before she chooses which of them she will marry.  She never suspects they’ll arrive at the same time.

From the beginning, it’s clear that this is fluffy.  The heroine and heroes are all too impossibly perfect and the plot is too dreamily fantastical to take terribly seriously, but this is written so earnestly and with such a deliberately spunky attitude that I was just charmed.  It’s a short read with a good erotic element at the end; it really was one of the most implausible books I’ve read in a while but it was also a half hour that put a smile on my face.

My Rating: C+



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