Hurray for another excellent Heyer novel! Set in the time of Louis XV’s reign in France, the Duke of Avon, a distinguished English noble known for his no-heart aloofness, succumbs to what appears as accomplishing a good deed- though, for everything there is a purpose...
The story originates with the Duke of Avon claiming a street fight with a young hoodlum late one night. After some ruffling, the Duke discovers that the boy is actually running from his brother. The Duke ends up saving the boy from this terrible fate by purchasing’ him for a price- literally. The young man (figuratively speaking) becomes the Duke’s page- his name, Leon.
Leon owes his (?) life to the Duke and is forever thankful to him. He shows his gratitude through honorable service and total loyalty- he absolutely adores the Duke and is totally awestruck by him. The Duke has his reasons for having purchased this ‘page’…there is much similarity between this young man and his notorious rival, the Comte de Saint-Vire. What is the relation exactly? The Duke soon finds out and is ready to accomplish his mission. Leon primed and prepared by the Duke’s sister, will be presented in due time for his ‘debut’…
In all his nobility, the Duke, who is renowned for his grandness and, is an honoured and well received guest among the Royals. Everyone in high circles knows who he is; though his popularity is more due to the fear he brings along with his shrewd and calculating ways. As it would seem there is an alterior motive for the Duke taking such time to care and prepare Leon…will he use the page as a revenge or payback towards St-Vire? And what is so strange about this Page? Hmmm…These Old Shades is intriguing, comical, historical and entertaining, all in one.
You have got to get this book! For anyone who loves Heyer, this book will fulfill more than it promises. The period and characters are wonderfully described- it’s 18th c France and England at its best. There’s even mention of the Duke’s encountering Louis XV, the Queen, Madame De Pompadour, and other favourite historical figures. Set in my very favourite historical period, These Old Shades is destined to top my Heyer list.
Thanks to Danielle from Sourcebooks for sending me this entertaining book:)