A Garden Folly (A Regency Romance) by Candice Hern

Writer’s block has me reading at light speed!

Next up for review is another for the Regency Romance Reading Challenge (Austenprose.com.) I read a sample chapter of the following at the end of Desperate Measures, and I couldn’t resist adding it to my list:

A Garden Folly (A Regency Romance) by Candice Hern

Catherine Forsythe lives with her sister and sweet aunt. Penniless, the ladies depend on the kindheartedness and, erhm, resourcefulness of their manservant, MacDougal. Having already sold most of their belongings to put food on the table, they are never sure whether they’ll be able to continue doing so.

All are thrilled when Aunt Hetty’s old friend, the Duchess of Carlisle, invites them to her annual summer house party at her estate in the country. Always the most sensible of the three, Catherine sees the invitation as the chance of a lifetime—surely either her beautiful sister or she will find a rich husband and save them from living in poverty!

Stephen, the eccentric Duke of Carlisle, is unhappy about his mother’s plans to hold her house party this year. Although he usually left Chissingworth during her August gathering, this year he could not accept an interruption to his project – the addition of a glass conservatory to the estate, where he does much of the work personally. Stephen insists that his mother tell her guests that he is not in residence so that he will be spared the need to socialize and can continue his work.

When Stephen literally runs into Catherine while she admires his plantings, he finds there is indeed one guest he’d actually enjoy spending time with, especially since she does not recognize him as the duke and assumes he is the estate’s gardener instead. In order to continue hiding from the other guests, he uses his first two names when introducing himself, leaving off the rest which would identify him as the duke—and the charade begins!

A Garden Folly is an engaging and amusing tale of mistaken identity and romance that I highly recommend to all! I’m very glad I decided to add this to my list.

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