Jack Audley is the very charming lead male character of Julia Quinn's The Lost Duke of Wyndham. The man who was once a soldier for Britain is now a highwayman. And in the tradition of Robin Hood - he is robbing from the outrageously snooty rich and giving to those less fortunate. One night, as he endeavors to rob the coach of yet another aristocratic family - his life changes in ways he had never anticipated. It turns out, he's the heir to one of the very wealthy families he normally disdains. Oh, and he may very well be losing his heart to the companion of the nasty-tempered Dowager Duchess of Wyndham.
Grace Eversleigh is the companion of the Dowager - a trying job on the best of days. The job takes a toll on Grace's spirit on the worst of days. And one of those worst moments actually turns out to be one of the best of her life. She is surprised by the attraction she feels for the highwayman robbing them and even more surprised when he kisses her. Then she is struck speechless to learn that the Dowager is convinced - on sight - that this charming rogue is the never-known son of her long-dead son.
Julia Quinn outdid herself with this book. It is full of her trademark humor and tender feelings of developing love. Jack is not keen on becoming the Duke but he is quite keen on Grace. While Grace finds herself falling in love with Jack - she is very sad by this development. because she knows that if he is indeed to be the Duke - there is no hope of a future for them. There is quite a bit below the surface of these characters and all is revealed in a really heartening and appropriate manner. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to those who haven't yet read it.