The Ugly Ducklings Trilogy #1
Romance – Historical, Published Jan 31, 2012
Challenges: Historical Fiction Challenge, NetGalley Reading Challenge
Read February 2012, 352 pp.
5/5 ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants…
SHE’S IN NEED OF A PARTNER
Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.
AND HE HAS ALL THE RIGHT MOVES
Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened…or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined….
Absolutely loved it! Great mix of romance and mystery, set in Regency England and the height of all things Egyptian.
Cecily’s father, Lord Hurston, the founder of the Egyptian Club, has fallen mysteriously ill since his return from Egypt. His secretary, Will Dalton, has gone missing from the expedition and is presumed dead. Cecily, who has always had a great interest in Egypt and her father’s studies, is determined to get into the exclusive Egyptian Club to reclaim her father’s personal journals in hopes of figuring out what could have gone amiss during their latest expedition, but is embarrassingly not admitted into the club that only allows entrance of club members and their spouses. As an unmarried woman, Cecily is laughed out the door – and sadly enough, that tidbit was her own father’s rule! So along with her dutiful cousins’ help, Cecily is determined to change that fact and get her father’s journals back.
Lucas, the new Duke of Winterson, and Will’s brother, is also looking for clues to his brother’s disappearance and is willing to do anything to get the information he needs. When he discovers that it is the beautiful Cecily that he needs to get help from, he doesn’t hesitate to reject her attempt at finding a husband that is a club member. In fact, he wouldn’t mind marrying her himself. I loved the nonstop banter and chemistry between Lucas and Cecily.
I also loved the archaic vocabulary Collins used throughout the book – I was so glad for my kindle dictionary! The characters were great! I loved all three of the “ugly ducklings.” While this story focuses on Cecily, all three of the cousins had great wit, intelligence, and a need for independence in a time where social standing and popularity meant everything.
The mystery of the missing artifacts and journals as well as Will’s disappearance and Lord Hurston’s sickness left me suspicious of everyone!
Can’t wait for Book 2 – How to Romance a Rake - about Ugly Duckling #2 – Cecily’s cousin, Juliet – comes out July 31st.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.