Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White

The Reluctant Duchess
Ladies of the Manor, Book 2
Bethany House
April 2016
ISBN-13: 9780764213519

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has 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 Loch Morar and the men who have jeopardized her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has suddenly found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of his neighbor, Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when the moody Earl of Lochabar tries to trap Brice into marrying Rowena, Brice finds he’s not as opposed to the idea as he expected to be.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to resort to marrying a notorious flirt just to gain his English home. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.

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My Review: I am so sorry that I never picked up one of Roseanna White's books before now. She has a unique way of weaving mystery, romance, and faith into a masterful story that will keep you turning pages way past your bedtime. The Reluctant Duchess is the second book in The Ladies of the Manor series. It can be read stand alone, but there is a lot of back story you will miss so I highly recommend reading the first book in the series, The Lost Heiress (because it's JUST as fantastic as this one!).

I cannot even begin to fathom the kind of pain and suffering Rowena has endured in her life. I've never experienced the tragedies she has. Roseanna M. White brings to light the harsh realities of abuse masterfully. Like the author herself wrote in her Author's note: I loved watching Rowena come to terms with what she'd endured, overcoming it, and flourishing. Brice is just the man for the job. His insights and charm are exactly what Rowena needs. His uncanny ability to listen and interpret what the Lord is telling him truly inspires. Where Rowena tends to doubt and pull into herself, Brice is bright and charming and does his best to pull her back out. The banter the two share helps ease the suspense and seriousness of the story.

Brice and Rowena have to deal with so much from the very beginning of their marriage.  Again, Brice's ability to laugh in spite of the circumstance and joke in the face of all they endure really keeps the story from leaning toward a more Gothic nature. To me, it definitely has a more serious undertone purely because the issues Rowena and Brice have to deal with, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable watching the two fall in love.

Overall, I loved this story. Suspense, romance, and a happy ending; what more could I ask for?!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Bethany House blogging program in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.*

Roseanna M. White grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, the beauty of which inspired her to begin writing as soon as she learned to pair subjects with verbs. She spent her middle and high school days penning novels in class, and her love of books took her to a school renowned for them.

After graduating from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, she and her husband moved back to the same mountains they equate with home.

Roseanna is the author of two biblical novels, A Stray Drop of Blood and Jewel of Persia, the historical romance, Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, and the historical, romantic suspense Culper Ring Series (Ring of Secrets, Whispers from the Shadows, and Circle of Spies). She is also the senior reviewer at the Christian Review of Books, which she and her husband founded, the senior editor at WhiteFire Publishing, and a member of ACFW, HisWriters, and Colonial Christian Fiction Writers.

Connect with Roseanna: Blog | Twitter | Facebook

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