Three French Hens (The Twelve Days of Christmas, Book 10)

Emily E K Murdoch

HISTORICAL: At Almack’s, Sophia Fitzroy announces to her sister Caroline she wants a scandalous romance! Caroline admonishes her youngest sister. As her sister leaves, a handsome young man, Orlando Dunbar comes up to her side proclaiming he is available for a scandalous romance. Sophia refuses him at once, but he will not let the subject go. The next day, her sister Arabella reveals Orlando is the famous rake, Viscount Orlando Dunbar, who always keeps three French Hens, or mistresses. Sophia is appalled! After that, everywhere Sophia goes, Orlando is there; ready to escort her through the serpentine or ride horses on Rotten Row. She finds herself drawn to him despite his reputation. Orlando says he wants her for his own. Should she believe him, or is he only teasing?

“Three French Hens” showcases the sixth and youngest Fitzroy daughter. Orlando is written as a dashing gallant who evolves as a person and learns he only needs one person in his life to love. Sophia is a fun heroine with many quirks. She begins as a naïve lass but blooms the more time she spends in Orlando’s company. They are both easy to love with their playful back and forth banter. There is very little world building in this piece which is disappointing. While there is a plethora of characters in this story, they are two dimensional, adding very little to this tale. The ending is also quite abrupt. The description of Orlando’s mesmerizing eyes is incredible. The teasing is an amusing touch that keeps this tale real and the reader engaged throughout the story. A captivating romance that is sure to please till the very end.

Belinda Wilson