Angelique Beauchamp, ship owner and spirited widow, is the talk of the ton, dallying with whomever she pleases. Previously abandoned, Angelique vows never to be love’s fool again, but when she meets the handsome naval captain, James Montgomery, her resolve will be tested. The sparks that fly ignite a torrid, brief liaison that leave James wanting more, but can he convince Angelique to risk her heart again to find true happiness?
Christy English continues her playful take on Shakespeare’s comedies with Much Ado about Jack, next after Love on a Midsummer Night. English reprises the romance of Benedick and Beatrice in the romance of Angelique and James, but the witty repartee becomes simmering ballroom conversations of innuendo.
Angelique’s friend becomes embroiled in a troubled romance, and this subplot fulfills the play’s central story of Hero and Claudio. The intimate scenes are a bit heavy with the nature similes, but English provides plenty of scene changes for such dalliances. Much Ado about Jack is a quick read and a lusty romp through the countryside of Regency England, London townhouses, and the Prince Regent’s glittering palace.
This review first appeared in the February 2014 issue of the Historical Novel Review. I was provided with a copy of the book for the purposes of the review.