Shopgirl Poppy Fairchurch is in love with a duke. But the duke doesn’t even recognize her existence although he encounters her on a regular basis during his weekly visits to the flower shop where she works. After his most recent visit to the shop, Poppy is witness to his altercation with another man and as the duke is in the sights of a carriage bearing down on him she rushes to his aid by pushing him out of harm’s way. Sadly he hits his had and slips into a coma. Poppy is urged to accompany the duke home and is joined in the carriage by the ‘other man’ who she quickly learns is the duke’s half brother. When they arrive at the duke’s home, Poppy is mistakenly identified by the housekeeper as the duke’s betrothed and she makes no correction to that error, feeling the time wasn’t right and anyhow, she wants to keep watch over ‘her’ duke. What follows is a cat and mouse game between Poppy and Struan, the Scottish half-brother. And we all know that hate is just one step away from love.
This story was certainly different from most other period romances. However, I found the characters to be underdeveloped and the story slow-moving in most places. And when the duke awakes, I found his easy acceptance of Poppy in his life a bit difficult to believe. I’m sure it would take any duke, especially one who has surfaced from a coma, longer than twenty-four hours to decide that the woman who was masquerading as his betrothed was in fact acceptable as a wife. The inner turmoil that both Poppy and Struan face could have been better and more intimately portrayed.
Rating: M M M