Author: Lavinia Kent
Release Date: 28 June 2011
Number of pages: 100 pages
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Series: Book #1 in the Real Duchesses of London series
Source: e-ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle store, Book Depository
Grade: 5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Regency England just got real(ity)
Episode 1: How Kathryn Got Her Passion Back
Kathryn, Duchess of Harrington, has the perfect life: a handsome duke for a husband, riches to spare, a house in Mayfair, and the right group of friends. The only thing she doesn’t have is her husband in her bed. But she’s about to change that. Enlisting the aid of her best friend, Linnette, who knows about these things even though she’s a duchess herself, Kathryn begins her seduction plan.
But Linnette knows a secret and it involves Kathryn’s husband. And, when that comes out, Kathryn’s marriage isn’t the only thing at stake. Can you say Afternoon Tea Catfight?
My Thoughts: I first read this novella in July 2011 and since then re-read it at least twice. Kathryn, The Kitten by Lavinia Kent is the first instalment in Lavinia Kent's new The Real Duchesses of London series, which is a historical desperate housewives kind of novella series. It was wonderful (didn't really surprise me as I am a big fan of Lavinia's writing, her historical romances are truly top notch), she managed to capture intense emotions and give great characters even in a really short novella, so kudos!
Kathryn is the perfect duchess, smiling and polite and so dignified. But she is a young wife still grieving the loss of her unborn child and the nearness of her husband. She has no idea how to get closer to him, so she asks for help and advice from her friend. Meanwhile her husband Robert tries his hardest to resist his beautiful wife and his basic instincts because he doesn't want to force her to endure his advances merely out of "duty" and the idea of his beloved wife going through the hardships of pregnancy and grief of a miscarriage terrifies him. He dearly loves her and wants to protect and cherish her.
"Why had he fallen in love with an innocent woman? A woman he seemed bound to hurt? He looked away, sometimes not looking at her was the only way to keep his control."
"His deprivation was his own fault. While he’s desired her - he desired her always - the thought of her coming to him out of duty and nothing more had continued to eat at him. When he looked at her, it was hard to overcome his guilt and fear of another pregnancy. It hurt so much to have lost their son. The thought of possibly losing her also was unbearable."
How these two find their way to each other and seeing what is in each other's heart is a moving and sensual journey, that Lavinia Kent captured in a short novella.
Verdict: A lovely story, combining heartache and emotional depth with the humour and levity of the reality paper line.
"You want to please your husband.” Linnette spoke slowly, “Surely you know that the time to please a man is before he proposes. After the wedding it is his job to please you - or at least to ignore your shopping."
A very entertaining story I can only recommend!