9 Rated Books Book Reviews

Book Review and Giveaway: Mr. Cavendish, I Presume

Title: Mr Cavendish, I Presume

Author: Julia Quinn

Genre: Historical romance

Stand Alone/series: Book 2 of a two books series called The Two Dukes of Wyndham

Summary: Amelia Willoughby has been engaged to the Duke of Wyndham for as long as she can remember. Literally. A mere six months old when the contracts were signed, she has spent the rest of her life waiting. And waiting. And waiting…for Thomas Cavendish, the oh-so-lofty duke, to finally get around to marrying her. But as she watches him from afar, she has a sneaking suspicion that he never thinks about her at all…

It’s true. He doesn’t. Thomas rather likes having a fiancée—all the better to keep the husband-hunters at bay—and he does intend to marry her…eventually. But just when he begins to realize that his bride might be something more than convenient, Thomas’s world is rocked by the arrival of his long-lost cousin, who may or may not be the true Duke of Wyndham. And if Thomas is not the duke, then he’s not engaged to Amelia. Which is the cruelest joke of all, because this arrogant and illustrious duke has made the mistake of falling in love…with his own fiancée!


Mr. Cavendish, I Presume is the second book in a two-part series called The Two Dukes of Wyndham. Book 1, The Lost Duke of Wyndham was released earlier this year and it started the story of two men, Jack and Thomas (and two women: Grace and Amelia) whose destinies would be forever changed after a chance encounter one night, when Jack, a highway man is recognised by the dowager duchess of Wyndham as the son of her favorite son and therefore, the true Duke. That first book told the story of Jack, and his path to discover the truth about his past whilst falling in love with Grace. I adored The Lost Duke of Wyndham, fell in love with Jack and his sunny personality and couldn’t wait to read book 2, Mr Cavendish, I Presume.

And here is the catch: what makes this series different (and very clever, if you ask me) is that rather than being a proper sequel, Mr Cavendish is actually the very same story told from another point of view, that of Thomas, the man who lost the Dukedom. The story starts a little bit earlier in that fateful evening. They are all at the country ball and although you don’t need to read The Lost Duke to be able to get in this story, it is like you are sharing a little secret with the author – you know that as soon as Grace and the Dowager leave they will meet Jack. But I am getting ahead of myself.

So, they are at the country ball and Amelia is waiting for her fiancé Thomas, the Duke of Wyndham. They have been engaged since they were children in a contract signed by their parents – they know they are getting married soon but no effort has been put into their relationship – it just is. So, Amelia is there waiting for Thomas to arrive so that they can play around the mechanics of their relationship, the one that is repeated over and over again: he would arrive, everyone would fall silent as appropriate in the presence of a Duke, he would walk to Amelia, greet her, they would exchange a few words (about the weather), they would dance and he would leave. No effort from either of them. No meaning behind any of their encounters.

BUT. It just so happens that that night is a fateful night for many reasons – not only Thomas’ destiny as the Duke is about to be changed, this is also the night Amelia decides she has had enough of not being noticed and says “no” when he asks her to dance. And that is all it takes for Thomas to actually pay attention to her for the first time. They have their first meaningful conversation and their first kiss. And this is when BOTH of them truly start to look at each other – but the Fates were having a laugh, because after this night all changes with the prospect of not being the real Duke is hanging over Thomas’ head and a search for the real man behind the title begins. And Amelia? It just so happens that the marriage contract is between Amelia and the DUKE, not with Thomas.

Again, this book is not really about the mystery of who is the Duke, as it is very clear from the start that Jack is the rightful Duke. The point of these books is to find out what this change means for these two men and to follow them both in their journey of self-discovery.

And if Jack’s book was a whiff of summer breeze, a perfect reflection of his sunny personality and full of laughter wrapped up with clever prose, Thomas’ is the complete opposite. It is more serious; it bears deeper reflection of what makes a man. These two books could not be more different.

When it was clear Jack was his cousin, Thomas loses all bearings – suspended in space, not knowing whom the hell he was. His entire life up to that moment was about Wyndham: the tile, which always came first, along with the sense of propriety, with the sense of pride, a deep knowledge of the History of his position, and a care for the lives of people that depended on him. Nothing was ever about Thomas Cavendish and once he is stripped of the Title and Wyndham he is no more, he is left alone with himself and that is truly the moment where he wakes up, for he must find out who Mr Cavendish is. And that is when he realises that what he always thought was the title was indeed he – HIM alone, the honour, the pride, and the sense of duty. It turns out Mr Cavendish made the title and not the other way around. But it is a long journey before he realises that and one that is profoundly moving. He is at the same time, dismayed, terrified that his is losing his identity but also somewhat exhilarated at the prospect of freedom.

At the same time, the romance in Mr Cavendish is as complex as The Lost Duke’s was simple. In the latter, it was a matter of love at first sight, with no doubts about it. But Thomas feels, one he gets to know Amelia, that he cannot love her, will not love her because he just can’t bear to offer nothing to her. But, what about Amelia? Does she have any saying in any of this? A woman who has always been a pawn finally allows herself to ask questions – to question other people but also to question herself and Thomas. To find her voice. And it turns out, once they start a friendship, that Amelia really wants the man, whomever he is.

They begin the story sharing a destiny but that meant NOTHING to them. Paradoxically it was only when they lost their future and shared noting, stripped of what they thought they were, that they started to fall in love. And their one and only sex scene is one of the most beautiful and meaningful I ever read.

I cannot tell you how much I loved Mr Cavendish, I Presume. It was an amazing reading experience to finally be able to fill in the gaps from The Lost Duke and to understand what was going on inside Amelia and Thomas’ head. Similarly, it was great fun to read about Jack and Grace from Thomas’s and Amelia’s point of view and KNOWING what was really going on between them.

My reaction to each of these books was completely opposite – I had a huge smile on my face whilst reading the Lost Duke and tears in my eyes whilst reading Mr Cavendish, not because it was sad but because it was so beautiful and significant.

It occurred to me that one of the things I love the most about Julia Quinn’s books is the simplicity of her plotlines: there is no great drama, no great villains, no great misunderstandings. It is usually all very simple love stories, gift wrapped with some wonderful, clever dialogues and a lot of sense of humour and a lot of heart. Differences apart, both The Lost Duke of Wyndham and Mr Cavendish, I Presume share the same heart-warming feel – you know the one, that one that leaves you with a smile on your face and a dreaming look in your eyes when you close a really good book.

The Two Dukes of Wyndham series and its two books will most definitely make my top 10 reads of 2008.

And to wrap things up, there is a surprise, a gift really, for long-term fans of Julia Quinn: in the epilogue there is a crossover with another one of her series, the Bridgertons. I will say no more.

Notable quotes / Parts: I can’ really quote anything because I read an ARC and I don’t know what made the final book or not. But there is one scene when they are on the boat to Ireland to go looking for Jack’s parents marriage certificate and they are approaching the end of the journey and Thomas knows they are going to find out that Jack is the real Duke. Amelia is sitting on a bench and he comes and sits next to her and they start to talk. And then Amelia says they would have been friends. If they had met in different circumstances, they could have met in London, in another time, not at a ball, but sitting on a bench and they would talk about maps (something they both love) and Thomas would think how nice to know a woman who didn’t hide her intelligence and she would think how lovely to have a man who didn’t assume she didn’t have any. They would have been friends – and he says she will make a perfect duchess and he regrets that she was never his. And I truly hope this scene has made the final cut, because it is SUCH a poignant, powerful scene that says a lot about who they were and they had become to each other – not yet love but on the way to be.


Verdict: Need I say more?

Rating: 9, damn near perfection

Reading next: King of Sword and Sky by C. L. Wilson


  • Alex
    September 18, 2008 at 2:52 am

    What a wonderful review! I can’t wait to read Mr. Cavendish, he is such a interesting character.
    I would love to enter this giveaway. Thanks!:)

  • blueviolet
    September 18, 2008 at 3:08 am

    Sounds fantastic! Please include me in your drawing.

  • Kristie (J)
    September 18, 2008 at 3:59 am

    OK – leaving comment with hopes of winning *g*. I used to love Julia Quinn but then found there were just too many Bridgerton books and I kind of lost track of her after Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. But having loved her books in the past, I really want to try her again and see if the magic is still there and these two seem perfect to give her a new life. And of course the shallow me loves the cover of Mr. Cavendish I Presume. Goodness knows I’ve complained loud and long about Avon covers, but I REALLY like this one!!

  • Lana
    September 18, 2008 at 4:15 am

    Those look amazing! I adore Julia Quinn – and I think you hit the reason why right on the head. It’s because they’re simple love stories. And because they tend to be really funny and emotional at the same time, which is what I love, and which is really hard to pull off!

    I’m really excited about the giveaway, thanks!

  • LeChatBlanche
    September 18, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Ooh please enter me in the giveaway! It sounds pretty good to me! Fingers crossed! Thanks!

  • Cindy W
    September 18, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Sounds Great, count me in!

  • Meghan
    September 18, 2008 at 5:01 am

    I’d really, really love to win these! Julia Quinn writes some of the best romances and I’m sure these are great too. Please enter me!

  • Stacy~
    September 18, 2008 at 5:08 am

    Don’t enter me since I already have a copy. I loved this book too, even though a lot of it was similar to The Lost Duke.

    Julia Quinn will be in my neck of the woods next month – can’t wait!!!

  • Jessica
    September 18, 2008 at 5:12 am

    What a fantastic enticing review! It has restored entirely my enthusiasm for a new JQ, after revisiting the disappointment (for me) that was LDOW.

    Now I truly cannot wait for my copy to arrive in the mail!!

    (No need to enter me in the contest)

  • CrystalGB
    September 18, 2008 at 5:32 am

    Fabulous review. I love Julia Quinn’s books. She is a great writer.

  • Jill D.
    September 18, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Wow, great review Ana! How on earth did you get 10 gift packages to give away? That is so generous! Well, please count me in!!

  • Joni
    September 18, 2008 at 5:52 am

    I’m so excited to read this book. I feel like there are so many books coming out Sept. 30th that I just can’t wait to read. October is going to be a very good month.

  • Zeek
    September 18, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Include me too! 🙂

  • Dev
    September 18, 2008 at 6:04 am

    I cannot wait to read this book. I read Book 1 as soon as it was released and have been (im)patiently waiting for this one to come out.

    Great review!!!

  • kmont
    September 18, 2008 at 6:26 am

    The more you talk about this series, the more I want to read it – so sign me up for the giveaway lol!

    I used t devour Quinn like there was no tomorrow and still covet my Bridgerton books. It will be nice to red her again.

    Great review, Ana!

  • JenB
    September 18, 2008 at 6:39 am

    The Duke and I has been my only JQ read so far. The TSTL heroine ticked me off so badly that I got rid of all my JQ books. But lately I’ve really been wanting to try her again because, while I hated Daphne Bridgerton, I loved JQ’s writing.

    These newer books look more grown-up and more my style than the Bridgerton books. I’d love to give JQ another shot!

  • Carolyn Jean
    September 18, 2008 at 6:45 am

    What an interesting idea, to do the sequel like that! I really want to read these. I can't believe you have so many to give out. I read the Duke & I, and enjoyed it greatly.. Even though I had a plot quarrel, it made me want to read more from JQ.

  • rubiwho
    September 18, 2008 at 6:46 am

    I’ve been waiting for this book since I read TLDW. With only 12 days to go I won’t be getting any sleep! thank you for the positive review

  • Janga
    September 18, 2008 at 7:02 am

    I loved your review! It does justice not only to the book but also to Julia Quinn for trying something new as a writer. I have been a JQ fan since Splendid, but I think this new duet, particularly MCIP, has more substance than her other books. Thomas’s struggle with how he defines himself should be a familiar one to readers who have lost a job or a relationship central to their identity.

  • shu
    September 18, 2008 at 7:10 am

    I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for this book to finally come out! And all the reviews just makes waiting all the harder!

  • wonderings
    September 18, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Please enter me – these sound lovely!

  • Katiebabs
    September 18, 2008 at 7:33 am

    I adore Julia’s books and since I met her at RWA, I heart he even more. Have to say the title is very catchy 😀

  • fuzzycricket
    September 18, 2008 at 7:41 am

    I thoroughly gobbled up The Lost Duke of Wyndham. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Thomas was an intriguing character and I loved seeing Amelia evolve in the last book. It’s so fun to see how the same plot can be told in different perspectives, to become fresh and unique. All based on the characters.

  • M.
    September 18, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Exhaled with relief at reading your verdict. I was left so cold by ‘Secret Diaries’, and much less convinced of ‘Duke and I’ than expected, that I was beginning to think perhaps I should give future Quinns a pass. You have restored my hope.

  • Peta
    September 18, 2008 at 7:51 am

    These books sound great! Count me in please.

  • Cheri2628
    September 18, 2008 at 8:05 am

    I loved The Lost Duke of Wyndham, and I was really intrigued by Thomas in that story. I have been anxiously awaiting Thomas’ own story. I am excited that it has gotten such great reviews.

    Please include me in this awesome drawing! 🙂


  • jennifer rummel
    September 18, 2008 at 8:25 am

    i love it that he first takes notice just because she says no. what a great hook into the story!

  • AnimeJune
    September 18, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Wow! Great review!

    Please count me out of the draw, though – I won the Two Dukes collection (signed!!) from Julia Quinn and Eloisa James’ on-line charity auction two months ago, and they should be in the mail soon…hopefully. Grrr.

    Meanwhile, I went on a binge and purchased the rest of the Bridgerton collection, so I have that to work through until the Dukes arrive in the mail!

  • Kim
    September 18, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Great review!! Please enter me in the drawing.

  • bookworm
    September 18, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Your review sounds great, I need to read these books. Please enter me in your contest!

  • Megan
    September 18, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I haven’t read nearly enough Julia Quinn, but from your review, it sounds like The Two Dukes of Wyndham would be a great place to try picking up again. And I’ll keep my fingers crossed about the giveaway. 🙂

  • tanabata
    September 18, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Oh, these sound quite delicious! Please add my name in for the draw.

  • Maureen
    September 18, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for the review and the stories sound like they really focus on the characters which I always enjoy.

  • Kari
    September 18, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Julia Quinn is such a talented writer, I would really like to read these books. Thanks for offering them.

  • little alys
    September 18, 2008 at 11:47 am

    It occurred to me that one of the things I love the most about Julia Quinn’s books is the simplicity of her plotlines: there is no great drama, no great villains, no great misunderstandings. It is usually all very simple love stories, gift wrapped with some wonderful, clever dialogues and a lot of sense of humour and a lot of heart.
    You said it all right there. I can’t wait to read the book. It’s just sound wonderful. As must as I love all the craziness of villians, world at stake and murderous plots, sometimes it’s the sweet ordinary lives and loves that are most wonderful. 😀
    Thanks for another great review…and addition to my book addiction. 😉

  • Kerry
    September 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I didn’t actually read your review because I want to go into the book completely fresh, but oooh, I’m looking forward to this one. I’ll try to remember to come back and read your review after I’ve had a chance to read the book.

  • Yan
    September 18, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I would absolutely positively love, love to win a copy. It sounds so fantastic!


  • Aymless
    September 18, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Great review. Makes me want to pick up JQ again. I think I must have been in the minority for not enjoying the Wallflower series.

  • Kate
    September 18, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I want one! I want one!

  • I Heart Book Gossip
    September 18, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    please enter me into the contest.

  • Cin
    September 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    OMG! I love this contest please enter me too.

    cindychan725 At Yahoo Dot Com

  • ZM
    September 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Pleae enter me into the contest

    zmtc21 AT Yahoo Dot Com

  • P.C.
    September 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Great author please enter me into the contest.

    phl_chan AT yahoo dot com

  • icedtea
    September 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Wow, awesome giveaway! Outside of the Bridgertons I haven’t read much Julia Quinn yet.

  • Anonymous
    September 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I love Julia Quinn! I didn’t even read the review because I don’t want any spoilers, ha. I would love to enter the drawing, thanks.

    erin.elizabeth.harper at gmail dot com.

  • ArkieRN
    September 18, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I love Julia Quinn. Can read her books over and over. This new one sounds just as great as the others.

  • Kate
    September 18, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Ok, now that I’m not at work I can add that while I loved TLDOW, I thought Thomas and Amelia were much more interesting characters than Jack and Grace, making me very much look forward to MCIP.

    And I just started my second Bridgerton, Seducing Mr Bridgerton, last night. Um, I stayed up until 2am reading and had to force myself to put it down to sleep.

  • Jennifer Y.
    September 18, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    I cannot wait to read this book. I LOVE Julia Quinn’s books. She is one of my all time faves. Please include me in the drawing.

  • Caffey
    September 18, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    I loved The Bridgertons and have these to get yet so reading the review I’m even more excited about these books. Really liked too how you throughly reviewed the book. I’m going to enjoy coming here more! Would love to be in the contest. Thanks

    tbranxiety @ yahoo . com

  • sarabelle
    September 18, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    I cant wait for this book, I loved The Lost Duke and am anxiously waiting to continue the story. Please enter me in this give away.

  • Bridget Locke
    September 18, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I can't wait to read this. I read TLDoW and that was actually my introduction to Ms. Quinn's writing. I went & bought her entire backlist. I'm good like that. Cannot wait to read it now that I've read your review! Super excited! 🙂

  • ReadingIsSoMuchFun
    September 18, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Awesome review congratulations 🙂 I would love to be entered for this giveaway thank you so much.

    This book sounds like a great read 🙂


  • Noreen
    September 18, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Thank you for such a great review! Please include me in your draw.

  • Renee PW
    September 18, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    The timeline on these two stories sounds really interesting! Please include me in the drawing.

  • Kelly
    September 19, 2008 at 2:07 am

    I would love to win these books. I also love your reviews, they are very thoughtful and clever, and have made me expand my reading horizons a bit. My teenagers are always asking me “Well, what did the book smugglers think of this book?”

  • Pam P
    September 19, 2008 at 2:11 am

    I was definitely wanting to read Thomas’s story after reading Lost Dukes, and your review has me more wanting to read it now. Love to get a set.

  • jjsweep
    September 19, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Julia Quinn is one of my favorite authors and your review makes these books come alive! I’d love to win them, please enter me!

  • Jackie M (Literary Escapism)
    September 19, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I love Julia Quinn! Please enter me in your contest. Her Bridgerton series is great.

  • Julia Quinn
    September 19, 2008 at 9:20 am

    No need to enter me in the contest *g*, but I wanted to let you know that yes, the scene you liked IS in the final book. In general, it’s pretty rare for the ARCs to diverge much, at least for romance (I should say, at least for Avon, since I’ve never worked with anyone else.)

    By the time a book is in ARC form, I get to check for typos and the occasional single-sentence fix, but that’s it. If I tried to chop a scene, I think the managing editor would have a heart attack.


  • Ana
    September 19, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Thank you Julia, for the input. I always dread quoting from ARCs. And I will not enter you in the contest. LOL.

    (squeeee, OMG Julia Quinn at my blog! *faints*)

  • Janicu
    September 19, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Sounds good, count me in on the giveaway!

  • peggy
    September 19, 2008 at 11:06 am

    a great review.i love julia quinn
    books. and can’t wait to read

  • Bev(QB)
    September 19, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    These books are being universally praised throughout Romancelandia. So, yes, PLEASE, enter me in the drawing!

  • Kammie
    September 19, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    “I had a huge smile on my face whilst reading the Lost Duke and tears in my eyes whilst reading Mr Cavendish, not because it was sad but because it was so beautiful and significant.”

    awww…what a terrific review. I really want to read both stories now. Adding them to my wish list.

  • Lori
    September 19, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Oh wow. I just cannot wait to read MC,IP. What a great review.

  • Wendi B. - Publications For Hope
    September 19, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Oh PLEASE pick me!! I’m not averse to begging when a book set sounds so great! I loved your review!!

    I’ve read Julia Quinn before, but haven’t seen these two books yet, and they sound wonderful!!!

    Please include me in your giveaway (thinking really good thoughts and sprinkling pixie dust on the screen of my computer hoping it will travel to yours with wishful thinking! LOL)

    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!


    wbarker (at) hotmail.com

  • tetewa
    September 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks for the opportunity, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

  • Susan B.
    September 20, 2008 at 9:01 am

    I hope I’m not to late. I have wanted these for awhile.

    Thank you,
    Susan B.

    sbussey AT windstream.net

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