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Bookish Ames

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.
~~Louisa May Alcott

Dedication (Signet Regency Romance) - Janet Mullany If you have any bias against category novels, I suggest reading this little gem. Ms. Mullany packs quite a punch with a limited page count that is close to perfection.

Dedication begins with Adam Ashworth rushing into London to save his godson Luke from making a scandal of himself. He's under the impression that his godson is living with his mistress, but Luke let's Adam know that Elaine is not his mistress, although he has asked her to marry him. But no, she's only in his house for the light. Adam scoffs at this flimsy excuse but allows Luke to show him Elaine painting in the morning light. And there Adam comes face to face with his past - Fabienne. Twenty years ago, Fabienne and Adam had fallen for each other. But he was engaged to a girl in the country and Adam is under the impression that Fabienne rejected him. And Fabienne meanwhile had something horrible happen to her that led her to believe that Adam had only used and rejected her. Quite the conundrum. Although both have gone onto marry others, there's still an ache there of unresolved business. These two are not finished with each other.

Dedication though is so much more than two lovers being reunited. You see, Adam and Fabienne want nothing to do with each other at first. And this is handled very well by Ms. Mullany's very clever writing. Here's an example of her sly humor:
Adam raised the ax again, the muscles of his back clearly delineated against the damp linen of his shirt. "I sublimate my passions, madam. It is possibly a concept with which you are unfamiliar."
"I see you sublimate your manners, also. Good morning, Mr. Ashworth." She walked away from him. To hell with him if he wished to take out his anger and frustration on her.

Fabienne and Adam are such great characters. Fabienne is a woman who needs no man, she can provide for herself and Adam has kind of turned into a stuffy country gentleman, not the type of man Fabienne enjoys. But Adam is hiding quite the scandalous secret that might shock Fabienne if she knew the truth. She thinks she does...but she's got it all wrong.

On top of all that, this book brought forth a great reaction from me. Fabienne has some pain from her past that she's still trying to deal with - and Adam is kind of threatening her with two new kinds of pain, both to do with love.

Like I said, Janet Mullany packs quite a punch in such a short page count. Dedication gets 4 stars from me and Janet Mullany simply rocks.