Five Golden Rings: A Regency Historical Romance Holiday Tale (Book 8)

Emily EK

HISTORICAL: Esther Fitzroy, the peacemaker between her sisters, deflects another confrontation and resumes reading her book. Even Caroline’s gossip regarding the Duke of Kendal doesn’t pique her interest until Caroline’s husband, Stuart, enters the sitting room with that very man. Jack Kendal sets sights on her like a man notching a bow aiming for a bullseye when he sits beside her and asks about her book. But based on Caroline’s comments, Esther decides Kendal is after her sizable dowry. As a member of Society, she knows the rules of etiquette and decency, but he opens a window to her grownup feelings. Jack lavishes attention on Esther with walks and long conversations. Still concerned his attentions are directed at her money rather than her, Esther decides to pursue him to capture his heart.

Ms. Murdoch develops interesting and relatable characters, each with unique personalities, in this fast-paced holiday romance. The dialogue is snappy and styled in the Regency era. The descriptions of the sisters entertaining and planning for the holidays create the ideal atmosphere. The London marketplace also provides the foundation for the glitter, bustle, sounds, and smells a reader will thoroughly enjoy. The story is hugely anachronistic in the romantic aspects, however, which throws readers out of the story genre.  For instance, in that era, a gentleman would never dare take liberties with an innocent young lady under the table at dinner the first time he dines with her family, nor would he then passionately make-out with her later in the same evening right under their noses! Still, Historical Romance readers must consider an evening with this entertaining novella, perhaps sipping a glass of wine, during any season!

Simone Dober