If anxiety = fluff reading, then Julia Quinn sales should be through the roof. I’ve read at least one of Quinn’s previous novels, and I remember being largely satisfied- I didn’t have to think too hard and I don’t remember large plot holes or grating characters. That same moderate praise holds true for Mr. Cavendish, which is one half of Quinn’s two-part “Dukes of Wyndham” set (the other is “The Lost Duke of Wyndham”).
This installment is told from the perspectives of the current and presumed Duke of Wyndham, Thomas Cavendish, and his bride-to-be, Amelia Willoughby. Set in the regency era, Thomas and Amelia have been betrothed since birth and while Amelia’s parents are keen to marry her off, Thomas initially feels no urgency about making a trip to the altar. This feeling changes as Amelia and Thomas grow increasingly fond of each other, but then a wrench is thrown into the planned nuptials- is Thomas the true heir to the dukedom? If he isn’t, who is Amelia engaged to marry, and how can she be expected to marry someone she doesn’t love?? Cue some highway robbers, an Irish estate and a rather loose interpretation of the social mores of Regency times.
I’ve seen criticism that this story is essentially a rehash of The Lost Duke, and that you’re not getting much from reading the same story told from a different perspective. Having not read The Lost Duke, I can say that this repetition did not bother me at all. All told I had very few complaints- this was a romance that was exactly what I wanted in the moment but I am unlikely to remember much about it a month from now. Perfect for a pandemic?