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Sweet and Gentle Love Story
This sweet little Victorian romance is a pure delight. The book had me at the meet-cute between the hero and the heroine, Doug and Phoebe; this time, the term is genuinely warranted. We learn a little about Phoebe’s plight as an unwed mother of a daughter with a cleft palate; she has been banished to the country to give birth, and she expects that her parents will soon separate her from the baby. Phoebe is taking a few hours off from minding her child and finds a strawberry patch. As she lazes in the tall grass, Doug (a duke’s second son) believes he has spotted a trespasser and makes threats. This all ends with Phoebe firing a strawberry right between his brows. It is all done with a light touch and great humor; Doug is besotted by her beauty, her aim, and her arm! The romance is sweet and gentle. Both characters are decent, open-hearted people who are actually quite well matched. Doug is everything a swoon-worthy, protective, and loving hero ought to be. I could foresee some turns of the plot, but they were so beautifully rendered, with such love and affection between the couple, that I didn’t mind that there were few surprises in the story. I love the extended end, where we can see the full effects and changes that had been wrought during the course of the book. I wish we saw more of the fearsome foursome; I believe they will be a force to be reckoned with, and they are so good together. The characters are an absolute delight. Can I be a part of the Cherrill family?