Friday, April 22, 2016

"The Reluctant Duchess" by Roseanna M. White

Each month, Bethany House Publishers sends out a list of books to bloggers who participate in its review program, and each blogger can select one book to review. So here's a glimpse into my selection process: I immediately rule out any Amish fiction (if you love Amish fiction, that's great, but I am so over it...with the exception of Suzanne Woods Fisher's novels, but she's not a Bethany House author. Anyway.), as well as any books I'm receiving from another source. Then I look at the covers. Bethany House does such a fantastic job with covers, and, nine times out of ten, if I like a Bethany House cover, I'll like the book. Of the books on the April list, The Reluctant Duchess stood out, thanks to the cover. Isn't it gorgeous?

Will Fleeing the Scottish Highlands Only Leave Her in More Danger?

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she's never felt good enough--not for her father, not for the man she thought she'd marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she's willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping those threatening her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, yet the last thing he needs is the distraction of the newly introduced Lady Rowena. He has enough on his plate having recently come into possession of a rare treasure for which many would kill, yet those around him seem intent on pairing him with this desperate but beguiling girl.

Rowena is reluctant to marry this notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she'll end up in more danger than she fled.

Now, here's where I get in trouble sometimes: I don't always research a book enough to find out if it's part of a series. Sometimes that doesn't matter, and each book in a series can be read as a standalone, but that's not really the case with The Reluctant Duchess. Consequently, I was a bit lost at times. Author Roseanna M. White does include a very helpful character list, which is what kept me from being completely lost. But it took me quite a while to really understand what was going on with the Fire Eyes, these diamonds that apparently played a major role in The Lost Heiress, and I still feel like I missed something. I definitely want to read The Lost Heiress to fill in the gaps!

While I did struggle to fully grasp certain people and events, the fault is solely my own (for not reading book one first), not White's. She has written a wholly compelling tale that I couldn't read quickly enough! I loved the Scottish Highlands setting in the beginning of the novel and Rowena's Scottish brogue scattered throughout. (I pictured Glenbogle from Monarch of the Glen—which you can stream on Netflix—each time Rowena's home Lochaber was mentioned.) And Rowena and Brice are both imperfect yet completely likable characters—I loved the way Brice wooed Rowena! Also, while you won't get this from the book description, this is a marriage of convenience novel—my favorite!

The Reluctant Duchess is full of romance, intrigue, and danger, and it's perfect for fans of historical fiction. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book, which will focus on Brice's sister Ella. 5 stars.

Buy the book.

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of nine novels, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Roseanna lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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