So here is our take of the book...
Mr. Cavendish, I presume? by Julia Quinn
published by Avon in September 2008
Genre: historical romance
Amelia Willoughby has been engaged to the Duke of Wyndham for as long as she can remember. Literally. A mere six months old when the contracts were signed, she has spent the rest of her life waiting. And waiting. And waiting... for Thomas Cavendish, the oh-so-lofty duke, to finally get around to marrying her. But as she watches him from afar, she has a sneaking suspicion that he never thinks about her at all...
It's true. He doesn't. Thomas rather likes having a fiancée — all the better to keep the husband-hunters at bay — and he does intend to marry her... eventually. But just when he begins to realize that his bride might be something more than convenient, Thomas's world is rocked by the arrival of his long-lost cousin, who may or may not be the true Duke of Wyndham. And if Thomas is not the duke, then he's not engaged to Amelia. Which is the cruelest joke of all, because this arrogant and illustrious duke has made the mistake of falling in love... with his own fiancée!
Series: The Duke of Wyndham, Book #2
The Story: LOL, most of you know of it already. If you don't know the story yet, the back blurb is quite a good synopsis... However, I would strongly suggest that readers read The Lost Duke of Wyndham before reading Mr. Cavendish, I presume?
Nath: So ladies, what did you think of Mr. Cavendish, I presume?
Chantal: It was very weird to be reading many of the same scenes from the previous book, but in a different POV. Too often I felt like I was reading The Lost Duke again. That should be okay, because I loved that book, but the repetitions just made for a boring read of Mr. Cavendish.
Ames: I didn’t find the book too repetitive. I really enjoyed reading it from Thomas and Amelia’s point of view. I would have liked to have seen more from Amelia, but I enjoyed Mr. Cavendish overall.
Nath: I think that it’s pretty divided out there, Chantal. Many think like you. Personally, I thought the book was okay. I liked the idea/concept, but I think there must have been a better way to publish the two sides of the story…
Chantal: What I would have liked to have seen happen was Mr. Cavendish start where Lost Duke ended. Perhaps with a prologue of a key scene or two from Lost Duke. All those repeated scenes from the previous book just got on my nerves.
Nath: True, those scenes were tedious at time. Ms Quinn could really have salvaged the book by adding “after” scenes … I actually expected to see more of Thomas and Amelia’s relationship after Thomas lost his dukedom, so I was disappointed when the book ended. I would also like to see how the society reacted to Thomas’ loss of a title and how different his life was. That’s the really interesting part of this kind of story.
Ames: I feel like I’m the only one who didn’t find it tedious! LOL I really didn’t. I do have to agree with Nath though, I did feel like it was missing something and I definitely would have wished to see more “after” as well.
Nath: What did you think of the characters? I liked Amelia and Thomas, they were nice. I did think that Thomas was stupid... so stupid not to have gotten to know Amelia earlier, not to have married her earlier. I'd have liked to see Thomas grovel a little bit more at the end.
Chantal: I don't have much of an opinion of the players. Amelia didn't do anything for me, and I admit to liking Thomas better in the first book. However, I much enjoyed the part where Amelia finds Thomas drunk, and they spent that time together. It was indeed nice to see Thomas let go during that part. Some other parts of it were cute. Like when she tells him that she loves him, then drops the letter, and starts back peddling what she said.
Nath: Yes, that was cute…
Ames: I enjoyed that drunken part too. I liked Amelia. I like how JQ wrote that she “woke up.” Because she did. She was just going along with what everyone had planned for her but then when things changed, so did she. And she went after what she wanted. I always admire a heroine for doing that. As for Thomas, he woke up too. He took Amelia for granted and when he thought her lost her, he was still honorable enough to do what he thought was the right thing. Although I wanted to pound him on the head as much as Amelia did, he was a character with great integrity. And that had nothing to do with the title but with himself.
Nath: You’re right, Ames. I like how both characters “woke up.” It was nice to see Amelia fed up with Thomas treatment and shake it up. I have to admit that I liked Thomas’ integrity… However, I felt like he missed the point when he forced Jack to marry Amelia because she has expected to be a duchess for her whole life. Luckily for them, they both “woke up” in time and not tragically late.
You know, thinking back, the problem with this book, aside from the repeated scenes, is that everything went too fast between Amelia and Thomas. Yes, there were new scenes where we saw them interact and get to know each other better, but it wasn’t enough. Where the timeline was perfect for Jack and Grace because they were under the same roof and had more opportunities to be together and have private conversations, it was too short for Thomas and Amelia to really connect. Especially to make up for 20 years. Perhaps if they had more opportunity to be together alone, it would have been better… Like I said previously, Thomas should have groveled a lot more to win Amelia. Even the love scene at the end felt rushed.
Ames: I agree, it did feel a bit rushed between Amelia and Thomas.
Chantal: The love scene was too rushed for me. I understand the urgency for the couple, but it didn't read through very well.
Nath: You're right, the love scene didn't read through very well... However, I smiled at Amelia's boldness LOL :) That was very cute.
What did you think of the ending? I liked it :) It was a good ending.
Chantal: Yeah, I liked the ending. It was nice to see Thomas get a title back.
Ames: I thought the ending was cute.
Chantal: The story was just... border-line okay. I did some skimming, and once I finished I went back to re read the parts I skimmed. I didn't miss much. I have never not liked a Julia Quinn book. I feel kinda sick about this. :(
Nath: Don’t feel bad Chantal. Ms Quinn took a huge risk when writing these two books and it paid off with some readers and not with others. That’s life.
Ames: It paid off with me. LOL
Chantal: You're right, the author did take a big risk. I wish it had worked for me, though. It's a C- for me. It wasn't interesting or at all appealing to know things from a different POV. The book as a whole didn't do anything for me. I won’t recommend it to anyone, and I won’t ever re read it.
Ames: I'm giving it a B. Whereas Jack's book made me cry, this one didn't.
Nath: I think I'm going to go with you Ames... a B. The book just left us wanting more and although I enjoyed the characters, it just wasn’t enough.