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Diary of the Reluctant Duchess

Becoming Fancy

by Sharon K. Middleton

Diary of the Reluctant Duchess - Sharon K. Middleton
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 4.99
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 299

When Fancy sent Richard from Barbados, she did not tell him her plans. Richard arrives unexpectedly after she and Kirk go to Ireland. Richard discovers she has adopted Kirk's daughter, and he concludes she will never abandon Kirk. Brokenhearted, Richard returns to the future before Fancy can tell him her marriage to Kirk is void. Richard’s departure allows Kirk to woo Fancy again in earnest and they remarry.

The couple sail to Bermuda, where Kirk leaves Fancy and the children at Spring Haven to sail to Barbados. A hurricane destroys the Spring Haven house. Fancy takes the children to the mainland and on to the safety of McCarron’s Corner. En route, she learns Kirk’s ship was destroyed in the hurricane and Kirk is believed to be dead.

At McCarron’s Corner, Fancy manages to go forward in time, where Richard finds her. She gives Richard another chance. They fall in love again, marry, and she writes a best-selling memoir, which attracts unwanted attention. Will they survive when a stalker’s dangerous obsession threatens to destroy their future?


Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "the world breaks everyone, and then some become strong at the broken pieces."  The Japanese repair things with a process they call Kintsugi.  They repair broken pottery with a strong adhesive and sprinkle the adhesive with gold dust.  The resulting piece is stronger, more beautiful, and more interesting for having been broken and repaired.  Richard says people are a lot like those Japanese vases.  We can also become stronger, more beautiful, more interesting when we become repaired after we break down.  Instead of trying to hide the flaws and cracks, they accentuate and celebrate the most substantial part of us.


When I first heard about Kintsugi, I felt despair.  I knew I was too broken, too shattered, to be repaired, much less strengthened or more beautiful.  I viewed myself as not worthy of being restored.  But now, I think I'm like one of those magnificent Japanese vases.  I love the idea that each one of us can mend and become stronger than we were in the first place through the help of the Almighty.

I was born long ago, longer than you could imagine.  I have some cracks  in my surface and some on my heart.  Some you can see.  Others, not so much.  But they repaired me.  I hope they strengthened me, made me more beautiful, more interesting, with each glimmer from the refiner's fire.

Our lives don't go backward.  We don't get to redo the past.  I have learned there is no sense lingering over 'what-if's' about our history.  Life is like a road map.  We learn and grow from the wrinkles on the map.  Thank heaven, I am learning how to let those things go and to move on.  We become more interesting with the accumulation of dings and scars along our journey through life.  Our perceptions write timeless poetry upon our flesh and our minds with a quill dipped in the refiner's fire.  Our wounds become scars, which create art as our genuine beauty emerges.


Reviews:Kindle Customer on Amazon wrote:

I love a good time travel story. This is the fourth book in the series but it was good as a stand alone story. Fancy is in 1783 when the story begins and on board a ship to Ireland. The story has Kirk the seafaring man who loves her and then there is Richard who is a doctor from the present time who also loves her. In this story Fancy goes through a hurricane and loses Kirk to go back to McCarron's Corner to the present time where Richard had returned. The story takes us to the present time with Fancy and Richard with their life and her children have joined them.

Gopher on Amazon wrote:

As usual, this was excellent. I enjoyed reading about Fancy's quest to find Richard. There's quite a bit of intrigue and it all works well together.

Ann Pratley on Goodreads wrote:

I have mixed emotions about this book, I have to say. For me, the downside was the changing of viewpoints, with different first person sections intermingled with other sections that were in third person. Some chapters that were first person clearly indicated at the start which character the viewpoint was from. Other first person chapters gave no indication at all. The result was that I did spend quite a long time silently asking myself 'who is saying this??'.

However, despite the confusion I felt at times about who was telling certain parts of the story, this didn't detract too much from the story itself. That is something well worth reading. I hadn't read anything else by this author, so it probably took a bit longer for me to sink into the characters, but once the story got going, I did enjoy it.

From me, only four stars out of five but that is purely because I personally would have enjoyed this book a great deal more if it was just all written in third person. That, however, is a personal preference thing and not something that will necessarily affect another reader.

Overall, a good storyline and worth checking out!

This is the sequel to The McCarron’s Daughter. Unfortunately, you only get to publish 700-page time travel romances if you are Diana Gabaldon. My publisher insisted Fancy’s story be split. This is the finale of her story.  I encourage people to read it immediately after reading The McCarron's Daughter.

What would you give up to find the love of your life? Home? Family? Country? Everything? You’ll find out what Fancy will sacrifice for love in Diary of the Reluctant Duchess.

About the Author

I am a fourth generation Texan who grew up in San Antonio. My first relative was a boy came to the Colonies in 1747 as a Scottish indentured servant at age 12. Children were indentured until age 121, not for the regular 7 year indenture. My great-grandmother immigrated from Mexico in the 1890's. My grandfather taught me Spanish.

I am a semi-retired attorney with a family practice near Houston, Texas. I write, quilt, and raise and show Skye terriers. I love North Georgia and we hope to retire there next year - if I can manage to get my husband to retire! He claims he is still having too much fun working.