by Glenda Garland

March 2005
ISBN: 0-8217-7745-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

A Delightful Folly introduces us to a number of characters that we will come to like, love and dislike. Take Benedict Hadley, Viscount Fitzhugh, for instance, the hero of the story, he seems easy enough to like but not enough to love. Why? Because he is still doing his fatherís bidding. That is one of the reasons he is in London. The other is Dorrie, she is one that I sort of dislike as she is a little wishy washy on her feelings towards Benedict. Does she love him or not? If she does, then why turn down his proposal?

Benedict and Dorrie have been friends for a very long time. It was natural for Benedict to propose to Dorrie as that is what was expected of them. Yes, he does love her but he soon finds out about a different kind of love, a passionate love and finding the one for you. In walks Esmeralda, Countess of Iddesford, with no one other than his cousin. The other reason he was sent to London. To try to find out what his cousin was up to. It didnít seem that hard, but it did turn into a strange set of circumstances that kept Benedict and Esme playing games with each other. Neither one of them realized that they were both after the same thing - to find out what he was up to and try to stop him.

Esme has her own reasons for being around Benedictís cousin and no one else knows that she will try to stop him from marrying her niece by marriage. She knows he is only after her inheritance but she isnít sure why, but she plans to find out. She knows that even though she is attracted to Benedict that nothing can come of it.

Benedict has fallen for Esme and fallen hard. He uses his sword to defend her against the rumors that are swirling around her. Are they true? Just how many men must he fence to defend her honor? Can this attraction between the two of them lead anywhere? What about Benedictís cousin, who is a very dislikable character who is deceitful and mean. And what about Dorrie? Where does Dorrie stand with Benedict now?

A Delightful Folly is just the beginning for some of these characters. We will see them again in the near future. I still didnít really like Dorrie any better in the end than I did in the beginning of the story. She knows Benedict but she canít understand why he has fallen for Esme, who has a checkered reputation. Dorrie has quite a bit of growing up to do and I didnít see a whole lot of it in the story. Benedict did some growing of his own; he didnít have too much to do except his father's bidding. But he fought for what he believed in and that was Esme. I did admire Esme as she held her head high and didnít let anyone get the better of her, even when they tried.

Ms. Garland gave us a story that had deceit, danger and finding the love of your life all rolled together. These were all tied together and left some hurt feelings along the way but that was unavoidable, and Benedict did try to soften the blow. Iím looking forward to knowing more about these characters in the next book, In Pursuit of a Proper Husband.

Reviewed in October 2005 by Pam.

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