Where Hell Cat lives.
Title: Two Turtledoves (The House of Renwick)
Author: Leah Sanders
Publisher: Astraea Press
Publication Date: 10/27/2012
Category: Historical Romance
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“I’m sorry, your grace, but I do not wish to be someone’s duty. I have no desire to be simply the burden a man must bear. And you do not want me. That much is clear.” Her heart was breaking with the honesty of being laid bare before the duke. She had held it in for far too long. She turned her back on him. His piercing glare was more than she could stand.
I wasn’t sure if I’d like this book since I wasn’t fond of Anastasia or Baldwyn in The Devil Duke Takes A Bride, but I was pleasantly surprised. In love with Baldwyn since the age of seven, when he played a gallant knight to a gangly little girl, Anastasia longs for him to choose her during Season, a delayed venture even. When his grandmother, a matronly dragon everyone loves and fears, declares they’re to marry based on a deal with Anastasia’s father (and his daughter’s permission), Baldwyn isn’t happy. Enjoying his freedom to run with the Devil Duke, there’s no way he’ll willingly give up bachelorhood. Along the way, Anastasia and Baldwyn pushed together by Benedict and Katherine, the Devil and Devil’s own bride-to-be.
Here’s what I did like: the humor. I enjoyed the random push together moments by Benedict and Katherine. I enjoyed Anastasia’s father, too. He seemed to love his daughter, willing to give him everything. Unfortunately, the love in a matter of days troupe fell flat on the side of Baldwyn. Supposedly he hadn’t been in love with Anastasia for years, like her, but was ready to marry her only a few weeks after meeting her. However, I never got the feeling he understood her at all. I just didn’t connect with him at all.
Confusion seemed to mingle with pain of rejection in her dark eyes again. His heart broke at the sight.
“No. No. Anastasia, listen to me,” he pleaded. “I want you. Heaven knows I do. Every moment in your presence without touching you — without feeling the warmth of your lips on mine — has been pure torture. Torture only the devil himself could devise.” He released her hand and retreated another step, holding up a hand to keep her from approaching him.
“If I had believed for one instant you thought I didn’t want you, I would have… You must believe me, my love. I thought only to guard your virtue.”
What a Nice Guy. So heroic.
Anastasia, though? I loved her personality for the most part. I didn’t much care for the immaturity, the gap between her and Baldwyn, though. Part of that hit-and-miss. I liked how she wasn’t willing to be treated as a delicate flower, though. Just look at her spine during the rest of the above scene with Mr. Nice Guy. She’s not gonna let him railroad or make her decisions for her:
“I asked you for no such favor,” she interjected.
“I sought only to protect you. My duty—” He couldn’t keep the tremor from his voice, and no matter what his mind was saying, the rest of his body was still fully aware of how much he desired to throw caution to the wind and take her as his own.
“Hang your duty, Baldwyn Sinclair,” Anastasia whispered, her voice thick with emotion. “And hang you!”
Before he knew what had happened, before he realized he had said anything wrong, she spun on her heel and rushed down the stairs into the dark garden, leaving Baldwyn gaping after her in disbelief.
I would have graded this book higher but I wasn’t really invested in the outcome. Felt too neat and tidy. I did really enjoy the conversation in the beginning with young Anastasia about turtledoves, how they call back to find their mate. And I kind of liked the almost circle feel to the hovering around but never quite connecting. If he hadn’t been so 2D, I probably would graded the book higher. Baldwyn was just someone I couldn’t really get into and as a lead, that takes away from my emotional connection.