Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring I Close My Eyes by Regina Puckett.
About the Book: The last thing The Duke of Greystone wants is a wife, until The Lady Jane Blackmore seeks out his quiet corner of Earl Braxton’s ballroom. But there she stands, attempting to shut out the rest of the world by simply closing her eyes, but the duke understands better than most that life is never that simple.
The last thing Jane wants is a husband, until she opens her eyes to find the scarred and much too handsome stranger secluded in her chosen quiet corner. Why can’t the obstinate man understand she just needs a brief moment of solitude before returning to face her tormentors? But no matter how many times she tells him to go away, he remains. So is it her fault that her father misunderstands the young duke’s intentions?
Whilst marriage isn’t on Phillip—as she learns the duke is called—or Jane’s mind, when society’s trials and tribulations come, they soon become each other’s touchstone, and by it discover that joy is tantalisingly within their grasp, although others seem intent on thwarting their every wish.
My review: What struck me was the legitimacy the author gave the story’s characters for the time period. We’re shown the struggles and social etiquette of royalty in short, but effective glimpses that help bring the characters to life. I Jane, we’re introduced to a young woman who is similar to Cinderella in many ways with a wicked step-mother and a rival that could easily be an evil step-sister.
While Jane struggles to maintain her dignity against the onslaught of bad luck and vindictive socialites as she’s thrust into a marriage she didn’t want, we’re introduced to Phillip and his struggle to purify the family name in the only way he can think of. I’d go into more detail, but I don’t want to give away too much. Sorry.
The story itself is fast paced and an enjoyable read, but that’s also the downside. There were a couple of instances where I would’ve enjoyed seeing scenes expanded and given more teeth. One example is there are a couple of characters that I would’ve liked to see their downfalls chronicled in greater detail, but I understand how that could have slowed the story and taken away from the readers’ perceived occurrences.
This is a highly enjoyable read, and I enjoy seeing the author slide effortlessly from one genre to another. I can’t wait to read more of her stories.