Title: Follow My Lead
Author: Kate Noble
Redonk Nutshell: Winnifred fights to keep her independence and establish her credibility as a historian, inadvertently entrancing a Duke along with her on the journey
Official Synopsis: Jason Cummings, Duke of Rayne is feeling the weight of his responsibilities – one of which is to get married. Being the most sought after bachelor in London can be trying, so who can blame him if he seeks refuge from the voracious hordes of young debutantes at the decidedly female-free Historical Society? Female-free, that is, until Winnifred Crane marches up to the door, demanding entrance. Despite her prowess as a historian, Winn is denied membership the Society. So she daringly offers an unusual bargain: if she can prove the authenticity of a certain painting, she’ll be granted recognition, fame, and respect. But to do that, she must go abroad. And to go abroad, she must have an escort, even a stubbornly unwilling one…Jason has no desire to accompany Winn on her adventure across Europe, but even he is not immune to Winn’s passion for her profession. As the journey proves more difficult than planned, they must work together to stay one step ahead of their rivals…. and the closer they get to the proof Winn seeks, the closer she and Jason become. But as their adventure turns dangerous, can Jason keep this headstrong bluestocking safe? And what will become of their growing bond when the adventure ends?
I picked up this book because several bloggers I follow read and raved about it. I’ve read one other work by Noble (Revealed), and it didn’t really do it for me. I don’t recall exactly why except to say that it seemed to drag for me and wasn’t terribly engaging. I’m not one to put off an author, however, because of one subjective dud. So I put this on hold at my library, and I gleefully picked it up a few weeks later.
Follow My Lead is the story of Jason Cummings, a reasonable young man and new Duke, who is beginning to consider the prospect of matrimony and sets himself upon the London scene. And is ambushed. He doesn’t meet our heroine during a ball or soiree, but instead outside the Historical Society, where she inadvertently accosts him. Intrigued, Jason helps Winnifred gain entrance into the society and hears her tale claiming to be a reknowned, but anonymous, historical writer. No one believes her, of course, but she sets forth to prove herself. Jason is volunteered to see her off on her journey, chaperoning her and her friends to Dover where they’re to meet their ship taking them to their first destination to gather her evidence. Things take a turn, however, when Jason sees Winnifred boarding a different ship altogether and he chases after her.
Follow My Lead is perfection as a romance novel. Our two characters are completely normal – no secret pasts, no brooding hearts, no dashing visages or anything of the like. They are two intelligent, independent souls who happen to collide and bond. Winnifred is confident and self-assured. Oh, and brilliant. She’s something of a bluestocking, but she shrugs it off and wears it proudly without being cut off from the “real” world. Jason is comfortable in his skin, and though he can be a bit cocky of himself at times, he’s quick to admit his mistakes and listen to others. Their chemistry is wonderful. They manage to make a great team, crossing the continent in one mishap after another in effort to gather Winn’s supporting evidence to her shocking thesis. Their relationship naturally progresses as their journey continues, and watching it evolve and grow is nothing short of splendid.
An incredibly well-rounded read, Follow My Lead is definitely going on my “favorites” bookshelf.
Romance: 5/5 Raunch: 3/5