Loving Mister Lockwell
by Jerrica Knight-CataniaReview:
This is a short novella that was originally in the anthology A Summons From the Duke (Regency Christmas Summons Collection #2) from the lovely ladies of The Lady Scribes blog.
In these novellas, they each tell the story of the grandchildren of the Duke of Danby spending Christmas at the Danby Castle. This particular story from Jerrica is of Lady Isobel Whitton whom lives at the castle with her twin sister, parents, and the Duke.
I really loved how Jerrica wrote this story for Lady Isobel Whitton and Damien Lockwell. They're both so very opposite yet so much alike on so many different levels. Their story is told at the same time other stories are being told in the anthology, like for example her twin sister Lady Emma and her own romance.
Isobel is very bookish and especially likes reading about horticulture and animals. She hates parties and can't sing or dance for the life of her, and that includes sewing. So when Damien intrudes on her family gathering, uninvited, but then invited by a close family friend, Lord Heathfield who was invited, she just got even more annoyed for she had to play hostess for strangers.
Damien Lockwell is just a normal lad. A scoundrel if you want to call him or more like a rogue but he's still very much a gentleman in any sense. He's smart and very bookish himself but you wouldn't know it by the looks of him with his rolled out of bed hair and loose cravats. Plus he loves teasing and playing mind games, especially if it unnerves people to the bones like it does to Lady Isobel.
But I thought it was highly hilarious that these two are playing their own kind of game without knowing it. Both are also trying to help their friends work out misunderstandings in the name of love.
I really liked that we got to see different sides of Isobel and had some character development with her, very little though it was but it was nice to see her have some changes. It was nice to see that she had a vulnerable side to her especially when her mother is always insulting her on not being lady-like enough. But I found her relationship with her twin sister strangely awkward.... Yes I felt the love between the two but it was weird. They're supposedly very close but I didn't feel it because they were so different. The ending between the two sisters were also very strange because it just didn't help me understand their closeness. But it was nice to see even though it was hard to understand Isobel's thoughts on her sister. But yes seeing some changes in her was nice but it was also sad that we got very little to not enough about Damien's character.
Though we got a hint about Damien and his neglectful family background it wasn't much to help understand why he was the way he was. I didn't see him develop much from the man we first saw him as to the final man that he came to be. There were very little changes which was fine with me because I liked him immediately, but I did want something more from him as the story moved on.
Overall I really enjoyed and came to love this short novella. I should have said that I highly enjoyed it even more when I listened to the Audible version because it made it just so much more magical. Michaela James did a wonderful job at narrating and distinguishing the different kinds of character's voices. And she read very well too.
So yup, I'll definitely be grabbing more books from Jerrica, especially her Wetherby series and the rest of these anthologies from The Lady Scribes.