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Monday, November 15, 2010

The Debutante's Dilemma by Elyse Mady

The Debutante's Dilemma by Elyse Mady
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (70 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, menage
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Lavender

One woman in search of passion

Miss Cecilia Hastings has achieved what every young lady hopes for during her first London 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 Cecilia 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, Jeremy and Richard have found that falling for the same woman has set them 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...

The Debutante's Dilemma by Elyse Mady combined historical elegance with scenes hot enough to satisfy modern sensibilities. A very satisfying read.

This story is told with an old-fashioned presentation, a style reminiscent of the era in which it is set (early 19th century.) It's in narrative form, telling, so to speak, setting a certain mood of yesteryear for the reader, and creates a charming feeling despite the distance it necessarily encompasses (until the reader gets to the “hot” scene, which draws one in closely and allows for a sexy sense of empathy.)

The language and setting details are so well done, a reader can get lost in that world.

Miss Cecelia Hastings is likeable because she admires a man for his actions and not so much for his family and money etc. She has “…no cravings for the usual mundane or quotidian aspirations.” She wants to marry for passion, making her more relatable to the modern-day woman in that regard.

Two equally great men want to marry her, and she has little time to decide between them. In a panic, she comes up with a wild plan to help her make her most difficult decision.

Richard Huxley is a duke, and his closest friend, Jeremy Battersley, is an earl. For a time, the fact that they both want Cecelia so badly comes between them, breaking up a friendship that goes back many years. This is a sad situation, and both men ponder this. I found their realizations quite interesting. Can their friendship possibly overcome this impossible situation? And if so, how?

The time draws near for Cecelia to make a decision. I just had to know who she was going to choose, the suspense being so well written. More is at stake than just her future marriage. Her gutsy decision to do something crazy could make her dreams come true or lose her everything. The stakes are high…but she goes for it.

I really enjoyed this exciting little story. The end was a bit vague, a little too vague, but I figured it out upon careful reading. For a hot historical, don't pass up The Debutante's Dilemma.

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