“The Forgiven Duke” – A Great Story Continues…

I read “The Guardian Duke” a few months ago and LOVED it.  I really wanted to read the sequel.  Thankfully, the sequel did not disappoint. “The Guardian Duke” left off with Alex and John sailing off to Iceland while Gabriel watched, unable to do anything.

However, since he is the Duke of St. Easton and has resources available to him that others may not, he is able to figure out what needs to be done.  He decides that it doesn’t matter what the Prince Regent wants, he is going after Alexandra, and will put his resources at her disposal to find her parents.

Throughout this book, Gabriel’s wants are subverted at various times and by various factions.  He is constrained by family, duty, rivals, and his deafness.  One of the most beautiful things in this book is how Gabriel comes to deal with his deafness.  The lights that he saw in the first book continue in the second, and play a huge role in allowing him to become “accepting” of his disability.  He also comes to realize that the only thing he needs to rely on is God, and that also helps him accept his shortcomings.

Often in Regency fiction, dukes are shown as infallible and proud.  Gabriel certainly starts out in that fashion, but this book really makes him more human.  His story is very interesting, especially given the fact that he is trying to act as though he can still hear, and this is before sign language.

Another interesting plot in this book is the story of John and Alexandra.  She is still captivating and caring, but she begins to realize how some relationships feel right and others don’t…even if they started out feeling right.  I did not like John’s character, there just seems to be something “off” about him.  The interaction between Alexandra and John feels wrong.  The relationship is resolved during the course of the book, but I don’t want to give away the ending.

Something to look forward to in book 3 – there is news of Alexandra’s parents in this book and I can’t wait to see how the journey turns out.

I was provided with a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Is it too late?

“We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood — it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.”- Martin Luther King Jr.

Tomorrow never comes.  All you ever have is today – this moment in time.  You can’t go back and fix what happened a minute ago, much less a week ago.  What you have to do is to live your life as though every moment is your last.  It is too late for me to fix my relationships with those friends I have lost to the sands of time, but it’s not too late to work on my relationships now.  That needs to be my focused.  That means that I need to balance what I want and what others want from me.

The idea of balance is evident in the above quote.  The stark imagery of the “bleached bones and jumbled residues” as well as the fluid imagery of life as a tide that ebbs and flows.  There is both excess and want throughout our lives.  The key is to balance the two and make sure the excess will last through the periods of want.

We always need to keep in the back of our minds that we never have a chance to go back and fix what has happened.  We can’t take illness away; we can’t wish and make our finances better; we can’t waive a magic wand and fix all that is wrong in the world.  All we can do is push forward, unless we want to be found left behind.

Regrets?

Sorry – On Australia Day

There are a lot of things that I would take back. I have tried to not live my life focused on regret, but there are many things I said that I would take back and many actions I would do differently. Mostly they are things that I said or did to family members or close friends. Some things haunt me to this day. Some things I know that had I done them differently, my life may have turned out differently.

Does that necessarily mean that I did it wrong? No. It just means that as I look back at my life, I see where the path I took may not have been the best path to take, or it was a path that has possibly added to my stress and affected my relationships with others.

Should you live your life with regret? Maybe. To the level that it consumes you day and night? Definitely not. Some would say that you need to seek forgiveness for your actions and move on. While you can seek forgiveness, you still need to accept responsibility for your actions and learn from them.

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Rolling Back Time

Grandfather Clock Face Waters building EXPLORE 4-8-08 2828

There are a couple of years that I would like to do over, only knowing what I know now. I think that if we had it to do over, we would have listened to those who had been through what we are now going through. However, at that point in our lives, we thought we knew what we were doing and that we didn’t need that help.

The “if only”s can destroy you if you focus on them. Even if you don’t focus on them, each decision irrevocably changes your future. The decision to go left instead of right; to ignore a phone call instead of answering it; to make that one purchase for something you want instead of waiting and buying something you need.

I can’t say that I regret the decisions, I just regret that we didn’t learn the first time around. But if I could redo those couple of years, I would.