Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Romancing the Dustman's Daughter by Ruth Hartman

Augustus Sinclair has a broken heart. His betrothed has dropped him for his best friend. Former best friend. When he meets Anne Balfour, though, he questions whether he’d ever really been in love with his fiancĂ©. Some of Anne’s reactions to what he considers everyday activities are puzzling, but that doesn’t stop him from falling head over heels for the first time in his life.

Anne Balfour is amazed to be a guest at the Shrewsbury’s, one of Mayfair’s most well-to-do families — even if the circumstances are less than ideal. Still, she can’t help but get caught up in the excitement of society life. Especially when in the company of Augustus Sinclair. He makes her believe in love and romance, even if she is just the dustman’s daughter.
“You seem to like cats, Miss Balfour. Do you have any?”
“Yes, I have Kitty and her four kittens. They’re at home.”
“Oh? And where is home?”
Anne’s mouth went dry. Why hadn’t she thought about that question sooner? How naive to think there wouldn’t be at least one person to ask. She couldn’t say London, of course. She blurted out, “I… Scotland.”
“You’re Scottish?”
Bother. “No… no. My father and I moved to Gretna Green a few years ago. I’m English.”
“I didn’t think you had the brogue, but I’ve been mistaken in the past.”
“No, while we lived there I had the… brogue, but I lost it, that is, it fell away somewhere.” She sounded like an idiot!
He raised his eyebrows. “Fell away? Should we look for it in the street somewhere?”
“No, I don’t think it would—”
“Perhaps in slipped into the Thames after you reached London?”
“You see, I—”
“Or is floating in the wind, still hovering somewhere above a chapel in Gretna Green?” A huge smirk appeared.
Anne laughed, which startled the kitten. She cupped her hand over its face and comforted it, rubbing her thumb over the bridge of its nose. Since she didn’t want Augustus to continue that thought, she needed to steer the subject away from her. Time to ask her own questions. “Do you like cats, Mr. Sinclair?”
Augustus nodded. “Yes, very much. I’ve loved them since I was a boy. Do you suppose it would be acceptable for you to call me Augustus?”
“I would like that. Very much. Augustus.” She’d known his name since the previous night, yet saying it out loud to him gave her chilblains. As if it wasn’t real until she voiced the word. “And I am Anne.”

Tifferz Take~
Anne's father is a schemer and has a scheme of the century. But, Anne really doesn't want to be involved. She does help her papa as she loves him.  So, will things workout or will someone let the cat out of the bag?
Anne is taken in by the Shrewsburys’ to prevent the scandal. Anne's meeting with the seamstress was awkward and painful for me. I wish Anne never had to experience that. Her supposed cousin Constance is a piece of work. I am happy she broke things off with Mr. Sinclair. Mr. Sinclair is quiet a catch. Fritz, Mr. Sinclair's friend needs encouragement and Anne is able to help!  Anne is really quite a sweet girl, looking for the positive! Constance is jealous of Anne and a hag to be frank. The things Constance does to Anne are terrible. I feel for Anne, but she looks for the good. This is a great fun, Christmas read. When I think of this story I simply smile because it is charming! I hope you all enjoy this story as much as I did. This is a quaint story to kick off the holiday season.

Just FYI~ This story does not contain any swearing or sex.

source~ author for an honest review

Chelz' Review~
Ms.  Hartman delivers a sweet, enjoyable read for a cold, and rainy afternoon.  (which is when I read it)  Anne is an innocent young lady who finds herself in a very uncomfortable situation.  Her father is insistent on blackmailing a wealthy gentleman and using Anne to make his life easier.  Even though Anne's mother died when she was a child, Anne has a strong sense of right and wrong.  She does not want to go thru with her father's plan but doesn't seem to have much choice in the situation.  
Augustus is a perfect gentleman and I loved him from the beginning.  How he seemed to know what Anne was thinking made the love blossoming between them perfect.  We get our happily ever after but I felt the ending would have been better if it was left at the "Merry Christmas, my love."   This is a lovely story and I look forward to more from Ruth J. Hartman. 

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