Monday, January 18, 2016

review || A DUCHESS IN NAME { blast } by Amanda Weaver

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The Grantham Girls #1
Amanda Weaver
Releasing on January 18, 2016.
Carina Press

Victoria Carson never expected love. An American heiress and graduate of Lady Grantham's finishing school, she's been groomed since birth to marry an English title—the grander the better. So when the man chosen for her, the forbidding Earl of Dunnley, seems to hate her on sight, she understands that it can't matter. Love can have no place in this arrangement.

Andrew Hargrave has little use for his title and even less for his cold, disinterested parents. Determined to make his own way, he's devoted to his life in Italy working as an archaeologist. Until the collapse of his family's fortune drags him back to England to a marriage he never wanted and a woman he doesn't care to know.

Wild attraction is an unwanted complication for them both, though it forms the most fragile of bonds. Their marriage of convenience isn't so intolerable after all—but it may not be enough when the deception that bound them is finally revealed.

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{ excerpt } .

As he examined her, she glanced back at him and their eyes locked again. She caught her lower lip briefly with her teeth. He wanted to bite her lush bottom lip himself. He wanted to plunder her perfect mouth and see if she tasted as good as she smelled. This was a disaster. For a moment, he was nearly furious with Miss Carson for being so desirable. He hated every single one of them for landing him in this impossible position. He’d cast off his family after University precisely to avoid this, the drawing rooms and prestigious, loveless marriages and stifling, hypocritical English respectability. He didn’t want a rich wife and this bloody title. He wanted to get up and run—back to Italy, back to his work, and let the duke hang himself.

But his sisters…

There was nothing for it. He had to wed this stranger, but he’d keep it the business arrangement it was meant to be. He’d be polite, he’d be respectful, but no more.

“Waring, I thought I might borrow you for a word in the study. To settle our details.”

Oh, hell, this was it. They were going to settle the terms of the marriage. He passed his handkerchief across his forehead, wiping away the beading sweat, and swallowed hard.

His father leaned across to him, reeking of Scotch, and he smirked as he whispered, “See? Not so bad after all. I wouldn’t mind a go between those lily white thighs myself.”

Nausea roiled through him and he dug his fingers into the settee. The idea of doing anything to aid this man made him sick. But it wasn’t for him, or his awful mother. It was for Louisa and Emma. It was their faces he focused on as his father stood up and followed Carson out of the room.

At the same moment, Mrs. Carson rose with a great deal of ceremony. “Perhaps I might withdraw for a moment, as well? The housekeeper needs a word.”They were leaving him alone to get the job done. Despite the bloodless, businesslike nature of this arrangement, he was still expected to ask her. How the hell did a man ask a total stranger to marry him? 

{ review } .


I don't typically volunteer to read historical romance. It's not really "my" genre. But there are a few that I will pick up -- either the author is one I've tried and I liked her (generally, her) style, or the synopsis pulled me in.

It was the synopsis of this one that drew me in, and I know can happily say I have a new author to add to my historical romance list.

While set in England during a time of 'seasons' for stepping out and arranging marriages to combine wealth and titles, the story of Victoria and Andrew felt like any other contemporary I would read. Andrew has more interest in artifacts than finding a wife, and Victoria has more interests in politics and the like to truly 'act' like a lady. Victoria, although young, was a very well rounded woman who did as her mother told her to do, while trying to do things that she wanted to do, as well. I loved watching her embrace Andrew's sisters and as she made the estate a home.

Andrew, understandably, is upset at the arrangement, as well as the way it comes about. When he first meets Victoria, he wants to see her as the cold, manipulative type woman he figures her to be, but he doesn't count on her growing on him.

This story is a traditional length novel but covers a good year and a half worth of time, making the relationship and growth of feelings feel authentic and real. As it's during a time where communication isn't a must, watching as these two battle misinterpretations definitely had it's heartbreaking moments, but when the end comes around, undoubtedly with many battles along the way, their story was sweet and lovely. I'm excited to see Amelia's story next!

Amanda Weaver has loved romance since she read that very first Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novel at fifteen. After a long detour into a career as a costume designer in theatre, she’s found her way back to romance, this time as a writer.

A native Floridian, Amanda transplanted to New York City many years ago and now considers Brooklyn home, along with her husband, daughter, two cats, and nowhere near enough space.

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