REVIEW: Angelique and the Pursuit of Destiny by Alicia Cameron
Angelique is a short story.
“The Marquise de Chabernet, her French grandmother, had fixed her with glittering eyes and told her when she was but ten years old, ‘If there is something that you want in this life, mon ange, do not believe anyone who says you cannot have it.'”
But Angelique, living with the Duke and Duchess of Saith and their beautiful daughter Rosalind feels too distant from hope to want anything. And then she sees handsome, wicked Sir Rafael Villiers, and she knows her Destiny. It is time for the plain and timid Miss Torrington to remember she is also a de Chabernet, and her grandmother’s daughter. But Villiers is interested in her beautiful cousin – so how can she get his attention?
Can Angelique pull it off? With the help of Rosalind’s brother, her amused confidant Ferdinand, she just might do it.
Dear Ms Cameron,
This little short story is absolutely delightful. Even though it’s short it “feels” longer. A poor relation who isn’t pretty but who triumphs through will power? Bring it.
It’s a little dicey at times keeping the timeline straight since no date is given for the action of the main story. All I had to base it on was the grandmere’s escape from France presumably in the early 1790s. What confused me is I had thought this a Regency and Ann was daughter of the valiant Marquise but no she’s the granddaughter. I have to admit to disliking the need to do mental gymnastics to keep things straight.
Ann is quiet and no one sees her except for her slightly older cousin who, of course as a teenage male, looks down on her a little when he does notice her. His wit and temper are pointed and he uses them to devastating effect when he feels the necessity of exerting himself. This he occasionally will do for Ann as he also has a sense of fair play and dislikes how his mother and sister Rosalind take advantage of her.
Still when it’s time for his beautiful and dowered sister … and Ann … to be presented in London, he intends to do only what he must in order not to aggravate his annoying mother. Little Ann has been dressed slightly better than the usual “dab” but not by much. Irritated at his female relations, Ferdinand decides to toss a bit of sand in their Vaseline and dances with Ann himself. It’s then that she notices the man she decides is her Destiny and enlists her cousin’s help to nab him. If only Sir Rafael Villiers wasn’t smitten by the lovely Rosalind.
Will Ann’s plan to bring the French half of her into play, to get her who and what she wants, actually work? And will her Destiny notice her? I loved Ann who is intelligent, talented and driven and in the end does prevail to get her man. I think she will be the making of him and he will continue to realize all his life how lucky he is. A-
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