Diary of the Reluctant Duchess - Overview

Diary of the Reluctant Duchess

Author: Sharon K. Middleton
Genre: Romance - Historical
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date Published: August 2, 2020
ISBN-10: 1684335698
ISBN-13: 9781684335695


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About :   Diary of the Reluctant Duchess

Sharon K. Middleton, author of Diary of the Reluctant Duchess, is a prolific writer of time-travel, historical romance novels. Her inter-related characters from The McCarron's Corner Series share many backstories that are successfully integrated into her new novel. She successfully stitches together the history and culture of the late 1700s and contemporary life. Middleton's competency as a research historian is evident in her description of her characters' lives, cultures, and surroundings in both time periods. 

This intriguing story captures the reader in the opening paragraph. A statement by one of the main characters, Richard Winslow, sets the stage for romance and time travel. He says he loves Francesca with all his heart and has traveled 240 years back in time to find her. After a brief back story, the first-person account by Francesca seizes the reader as she narrates her travels on a sailing schooner in 1782 while under attack by pirates.  

The story alternates between the two main characters as they try to reconcile their divergent lives. Richard, from the twentieth century, had deliberately searched out the time gate to escape from the modern world and to join others who had gone before. After falling in love with Francesca, called Fancy, a beautiful mulatto girl, he loses her to slave traders. The author has successfully incorporated the culture of colonial times into the story.

The story develops with intrigue and suspense. Fancy's health is challenged, as is her mental-emotional being. Middleton addresses mental health through a new lens that is both beautiful and poignant. A mental issue that would be called PTSD in modern times. Through her struggles to deal with situations life has given her, she becomes stronger. Fancy's life choices are met with determination and grit as she searches for happiness. Finally, at the high point of disaster, she is swept through the time warp into the twenty-first century and back into Richard's life. Fancy is amazed and intimidated by the modern developments in medicine and everyday conveniences. Can she adapt to the new lifestyle that is 250 years advanced?

She and Richard face multiple challenges as a couple and as individuals. She faces surgery for a defective heart valve. In addition, a stalker appears to have materialized from the 1700s to harass her.

There are many minor characters woven into the tale and many of them the author takes care to make you care about their fate. Middleton's satisfactory conclusion to the Diary of the Reluctant Duchess also leads the reader to speculate on the future of one of the characters who returns back in time. Will this character be the subject of another captivating volume in the series? Mystery, intrigue, intense adventure brings this story to life. Rich in history and social issues, Diary of the Reluctant Duchess is both deep and emotionally compelling. Another fine read from a PenCraft Book Award winner. 

About Sharon K. Middleton

Sharon K. Middleton is a fourth generation Texan, who grew up in San Antonio. Her great-grandmother immigrated from Mexico in the 1890s, and her grandfather taught her Spanish. She is currently an attorney licensed to practice in Texas and enjoys writing, showing and raising Skye terriers, and quilting. She loves North Georgia and hopes to retire there.

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