Lord Alexander Pemberton, second son of the Duke of Bedford, has spent his life being reminded of his less than revered position in the family. So when he loses the love of his life, Lady Patience, to an arranged marriage with his brother, a heartbroken Alex joins the military. Four years later, he's called home to assume the title after his brother's death. Though he's unprepared for his new responsibilities, Alex is stunned to discover that Patience never married his brother. And that he's now expected to marry her…
Once carefree and innocent, years of bullying at the hands of her fiance and her father have left Patience Browning jaded. And now that her father expects her to marry Alex, she knows promises made in their youth aren’t enough to overcome what life has done to them. Alex is not the same man he was before war, and she can't marry someone who doesn't love her. But real love can grow and transform, if only Patience could believe that.
Each book in the Lords&Ladies in Love series is STANDALONE:
* Seducing the Marquess
* Marrying the Wrong Earl
* Denying the Duke
* Wagering For Miss Blake
* Captivating the Earl
About the Author
Callie Hutton, the USA Today bestselling author of The Elusive Wife writes both Regency and western historical romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs and her top cheerleader husband of many years. Her family also includes her daughter, son, and daughter-in-law. And twin grandsons “The Twinadoes.”
Callie loves to hear from readers. Contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her online at www.calliehutton.com. Sign up for her newsletter to receive information on new releases, appearances, contests and exclusive subscriber content. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
Callie Hutton has written over twenty-five books, both western historical and Regency. See a complete list of her books: www.calliehutton.com
Read an Excerpt
Bedfordshire, England, June 1814
Lord Alexander Pemberton, second son of the Sixth Duke of Bedford — and constantly reminded of his less revered position in the family — looked up from the book he was reading as he leaned against his favorite oak tree. A large carriage with a family crest rolled to a stop in front of his home, Woburn Abbey, about a half mile from where he sat. Since he was unaware of any planned visit, he viewed the scene with curiosity as the footman jumped down to open the door of the carriage.
An older gentleman alighted from the carriage, then turned to assist a woman of similar age. Once she shook out her skirts and moved aside, the gentleman reached in and helped a young lady out of the vehicle.
Alex closed his book and leaned forward, as if that slight movement would give him a better view. The girl appeared young, perhaps no more than six and ten years. Her golden blond hair caught the sun just right, so she appeared to be surrounded by a halo. A blue bonnet dangled from her fingers and swayed in the slight breeze. At a sharp comment from the older woman, the girl placed the bonnet on her head, tucked the glorious hair out of sight, and tied the ribbons under her chin.
From his distance, he could not see the color of her eyes, but wondered if they reflected the same shade of blue as her hat. He took in her pleasant face and budding woman's body. More than mere curiosity drove him to rise, shutting the book to tuck it under his arm.
His parents appeared at the doorway and descended the steps. Apparently, the family had been expected. Right behind them came his older brother, Cyrus, the Marquess of Tavistock, and heir apparent to the Bedford Dukedom.
The bane of Alex's existence.
Odd for his parents to leave their home to greet visitors coming up the path. His father had always made sure everyone who visited the Abbey, or any of his many other estate homes, recognized he was the duke and, as such, they came to him, not the other way around. Most likely this was an important visitor.
No longer interested in Mary and Charles Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare, Alex strode to the house and reached the front door just as it closed. He quickly smoothed his always untidy hair and entered the house. The group had moved upstairs to the drawing room, the sound of their conversation guiding him.
Alex entered the room unnoticed and leaned against the wall, remaining almost invisible while the older couples conversed. Unbidden, his gaze wandered to the young girl, standing off by herself, a slight smile on her face.
His brother, Cyrus, glanced once or twice at the girl, then moved to the sideboard where he poured himself a brandy. Attempting to appear nonchalant, Alex strolled toward their young female guest. As he approached, she turned her head to look at him, and his heart stuttered.
No, her eyes did not match the blue bonnet. Instead, they were the most stunning shade of green he'd ever come upon. Close up, her countenance was more than lovely. She was beautiful. Plump, red lips revealed white, even teeth as she smiled at him. A genuine one, not the smile of girls at the assemblies who were trying their best to attract the attention of a gentleman.
Not that those smiles were ever cast in his direction. As the second son, "the spare," he held no status, and therefore, was of little interest to debutantes and their mamas looking for a splendid match.
"May I introduce myself, my lady?" He bowed, his heart still not recovered. With any luck, she did not notice the raspy sound of his voice.
At her nod, he cleared his throat, and continued, "I am Lord Alex Pemberton, second son." He tried not to say that, but he wanted her to know immediately that he was of no consequence, if she was here to snag a duke.
Hopefully, not. No woman deserved his brother, but least of all this angel.
She executed a perfect curtsy. "I am Lady Patience Browning, my lord."
He wanted to take her hand and kiss it. Nay, he wanted to grab her and tug her close, cover her mouth with his. Run his hands over her sweet curves.
What the devil was wrong with him? At one and twenty years, he certainly had tested the waters when it came to women, but none had ever affected him like this one.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Lady Patience."
"Hey, boy, I didn't know you were home from university." His father, the Duke of Bedford, slapped him on the back so hard he was shoved forward a couple of steps.
"Yes, sir. I returned two days ago." Alex straightened his jacket and attempted to regain his dignity. The last thing he wanted was for Lady Patience to view him as a "boy."
"See that you make an appointment with my secretary. I need to go over a few things with you."
Alex glanced at Lady Patience who viewed his father with wide eyes. His father, the Duke, tended to make that sort of an impression on people.
Mother clapped her hands to gain the group's attention. "I am sure our guests are weary from their journey, so I have arranged for tea to be served in a half hour, to give you all a chance to retire to your rooms and refresh yourselves." She graced the company with her hostess smile, seldom seen otherwise, as she pulled the cord to have servants assist the guests to their rooms.
Alex watched Lady Patience follow her mother and a maid. She turned and gave him a slight smile before she left. He felt as though the sun had just departed the drawing room.
The duke — as Alex always thought of his father — directed Lady Patience's father to the sideboard for a drink. Since no one had bothered to introduce him, Alex still didn't know the name of their guests.
Except for Lady Patience.
"Give that chit a year or two and a ride between those sweet thighs would be memorable." Cyrus sipped his drink and smirked at Alex.
The muscles in his stomach tightened at his brother's vulgar words. "Close your filthy mouth. She is a mere girl."
"Ah, but mere girls of six and ten years turn into long nights and sweaty sheets."
So, since his brother seemed to be in the know, Lady Patience was six and ten, and not yet out. No surprise there. She didn't have the full body of a woman, but certainly held a lot of promise. Then he felt as dirty as his brother with his thoughts. Rather than continue to give Cyrus an audience for his disgusting comments, Alex retreated and headed to his bedchamber. It had been a mistake to return home when the term had ended at university. When would he learn?
Cyrus had always been the golden child. Some could accept that position and remain pleasant. Not his brother. He'd taken every opportunity to harass, tease, and beat "the spare." Alex's only reprieve had been when he'd been sent to Eton to enjoy the friendship of other boys.
It was time he made his own way in the world. He had lived at the duke's forbearance long enough. Despite the duke having several estates, he had never indicated that one day he would offer one to his younger son. Perhaps that was what he wanted to speak with him about.
Alex snorted. Not likely.
There had never been any love lost between him and his family. He was merely tolerated, held in abeyance in case something happened to the cherished heir.
Shaking off the somber mood, he changed into his riding clothes and left the house. He viewed the clouds overhead, noting the chance for rain sometime later that day. What he needed was a long, hard ride on his horse, Night Storm. A way to clear his brain to start thinking about his future.
An hour later, Night Storm raced over the ground, carrying his master deep into the estate, miles from where the unknown visitors, except for Lady Patience, would be having tea with the duke, his duchess, and his heir. His thoughts drifted to Lady Patience. Even now he felt drawn toward her. The aura of lavender and mint had surrounded her, making that his new favorite scent. Her voice, when she'd spoken, had teased his ears like the finest music he'd ever heard.
What a sop he was turning into! Next, he would be writing terrible poetry to recite outside her window. He shook his head and turned Night Storm, heading back to the Abbey before the skies opened and soaked his muddled head.
Patience nibbled on a biscuit and sipped her tea, quite disappointed that Lord Alex had not joined them. Although at sixteen years she was merely two years from her first Season, she had noticed the attention she drew from young gentlemen. But never had she felt anything in return.
Lord Alex was unlike anyone she'd ever met — handsome, with dark brown unruly hair, hazel eyes that seemed to reach into her soul, and a smile as warm as a sunny day. It startled her that she'd had the urge to go up on her tiptoes and kiss him. Now, even thinking about it made her face heat up. She glanced quickly at her mother to see if she noticed Patience's discomfort.
Thankfully, she was engaged in a deep conversation with the duchess, not paying any attention to Patience. Which left Patience with time to dream about Lord Alex.
She had been surprised by Father's announcement that they had been invited to the Duke of Bedford's country estate. She'd not known her father to be friendly with the duke. But then, she'd had very little to say to him for most of her life. As an only child, and a girl, she had been a disappointment, since he had no one to inherit his title and estate.
Patience had always tried to please the man, but by the time she'd reached ten years, she'd discovered it was best to stay out of his sight. Although everyone in the house pretended they didn't know, Patience was aware of the times Father had taken his hands to Mother.
Her mother would remain behind closed doors in her bedchamber for a few days, leaving word that she was "feeling unsettled." When she emerged, everyone ignored the face powder attempting to hide the remainder of the beating she had taken at the hands of the man who had promised to love, honor, and cherish her.
Patience placed the cup on the saucer just as Lord Alex strode past the room, obviously having returned from a ride. His hair was hopelessly mussed, his cravat loose, and his cheeks red. He glanced briefly as he passed and stopped once his eyes met hers.
She grinned as he quickly ran his fingers through his hair, then tried to straighten his cravat. Any other gentleman would have retired to his bedchamber to right himself, but she loved that Lord Alex did not. He entered the room and bowed to the two mothers, then made his way toward her.
"Good afternoon, my lady." He bowed briefly and took the seat across from her. Tea things sat on a low table between them. Instead of waiting for Her Grace to pour, or instruct a maid to do so, Patience took up the teapot. "Tea, my lord?" A blush rose to her face at her forwardness. If Mother had noticed, she would be in immense trouble later, but she was busy once again chattering away with the duchess. Patience relished seeing her mother enjoy herself. The poor woman had so few comforts in her own home, always walking on tiptoes when her father was about.
"I would love tea, my lady." He beamed at her, and short little flutters started up in her stomach once again. She tried, with some success, to pour his tea without sloshing it all over the table. Never had she had so much trouble pouring. Goodness, the man's presence rattled her. A foolish thought, since he was a man grown, and she a girl barely out of the schoolroom.
He took the cup from her hand, their fingers brushing briefly. Patience drew in a breath and attempted to cover up her unease by offering Lord Alex a plate with biscuits and tarts on it. She bit her lip when her hand shook as she held out the plate. Lord Alex covered her hand with his to steady it. Continuing to stare as his hand cupped hers, she felt an absolute fool.
"Lady Patience?" His deep voice only made her hands shake more.
"Yes." She stiffened her shoulders and looked him in the eye. She should not have done that. The concern and understanding there almost made her weep.
"I don't care for a biscuit, thank you." He lowered both of their hands to the table. The plate rattled as they set it down.
Her Grace and Mother both turned in their direction. "Is everything all right, my dear?" Mother said.
"Splendid, my lady," Lord Alex replied.
"Oh, dear me, Lady Wilton." Her Grace's hands fluttered "I believe I have been remiss. I never introduced my second son, Lord Alex Pemberton."
Patience threw a quick glance in Lord Alex's direction to see his lips tighten as he stood and bowed to her mother. "My lady, it is a pleasure to meet you."
Mother nodded in his direction, and Lord Alex sat again. No longer in the mood for tea, Patience pushed her cup aside. "You appear to have beautiful gardens here at Woburn Abbey, my lord."
Almost as if he had read her mind, Lord Alex pushed his cup aside as well. "I would love to show them to you, my lady." He turned to her mother. "Lady Wilton, may I have permission to show Lady Patience our gardens?"
Her Grace looked out the window. "It is raining."
Patience stifled a giggle at the look of surprise on Lord Alex's face. Even though he had just returned from outdoors, he apparently had forgotten the weather. Not wishing to miss the opportunity to speak with him without their mothers present, Patience said, "I noticed a lovely gallery on the way to my room before. Would it be permissible, Your Grace, for Lord Alex to show me his ancestors?"
The women glanced at each other, a silent message passing between them. She hoped it wasn't a condemnation of her forwardness. "I suppose it would be all right. We have about two hours before we need to dress for dinner."
Not sure what had caused the look, Patience stood and attempted not to grin at Lord Alex. As a true gentleman, he stood and offered her his arm. They proceeded out of the drawing room and entered the corridor.
"Are you truly interested in my ancestors?" he spoke quietly, close to her ears. "I surely am not."
Lord Alex shrugged. "They all look stodgy enough to scare small children. At least they did me when I was young. Honestly, I've never felt a part of the family."
Patience knew the feeling. While her mother tried very hard to show her only child love, the tension surrounding their home when her father was in residence kept her mother in a constant state of unrest. Thankfully, the Earl of Wilton was not at home much.
Although she knew very little about what went on between men and women in the privacy of their bedchamber, she knew from gossip picked up from the servants that her father had other women besides her mother. All things considered, Patience couldn't help but believe that was a relief to her mother.
"Here is my great-grandfather, John Russell, the Fourth Duke of Bedford," Lord Alex said, interrupting her thoughts.
Patience looked at the painting. Very dignified, sitting with his arm resting on a large chair, white hair, and a receding hairline. "He is pleasant looking." She turned and looked at Lord Alex. "You resemble him, you know."
"Indeed?" He moved his head one way, then the other, studying the portrait. "I do think you might be correct, although, I do not imagine my hairline is quite that far removed from my forehead."
Patience laughed. "Except for his hair."
"Ah yes, now I see. I just need a new suit of clothes as well. I am afraid the honorable gentleman's clothing is a tad out of date." He grinned at her and she had the happiest feeling inside. What was this thing that was happening to her? Did he feel it also?
His smile faltered as they stared at each other. "Has anyone ever told you that you have a beautiful mouth?"
The mouth he spoke of suddenly dried up. Patience shook her head.
"You do." He took her hand and tugged her close. "Have you ever been kissed, Lady Patience?"
Again, she shook her head. Slowly.
"What would you do if I kissed you?"
Goodness. Was she about to have her first kiss? Her heart pounded so hard she thought Lord Alex would certainly hear it. She barely heard her own voice over the sound. "I would do nothing, my lord."
"Nothing?" He studied her, curiosity in his eyes.
Excerpted from "Denying The Duke"
Copyright © 2017 Callie Hutton.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Patience and Alex's story. Good series, enjoy her writing!
I really enjoyed Alex and Patience's story! This was a reunion story, which is always one of my favorites! Ripped apart by the actions of their parents, Alex and Patience are reunited after 4 yrs. But the time apart has made both of them different people. Can they find the love that they once shared? I really loved watching these two find their HEA! I can't wait to see what the next Lords and Ladies in Love story will bring us!
It was a sweet story. Had a rather quick ending though and would have loved to read more with these characters. I enjoyed it.
Alex and Patience…sigh! What a delightful couple they were! Patience is promised by her parents to Cyrus, the Duke of Bedford’s heir apparent and older brother of Alex. But Patience falls in love with Alex during their first meeting and learns to loathe and fear his older brother Cyrus. When the betrothal is announced, Alex, as second son, takes off for military service. Four years later Alex comes home after the death of his father and his older brother and becomes the Duke of Bedford, only to find that Patience had never married Cyrus, that he had died before the marriage could take place. The rest of the story is about Alex wooing Patience despite her reluctance to be wooed because she doesn’t understand how he could have left her behind when he went to the military. Also, a fours years’ separation changed both of them. It was a run romp of a romance!
I'm a big fan of Callie Hutton; I love her Marriage Mart Mayhem series like crazy. I enjoy her the Lords and Ladies in Love series as well. Unfortunately "Denying the Duke" took a lot of time for me to get into it. I don't know if it was the books fault or my own but by the end I did enjoy it. However I felt as though I had to push my way through to the point where I was "all in". When I first started reading romance Historical were my go-to genre but somewhere along the line I became very selective. I have a very short list of "go to" Historical authors and Callie Hutton is one of them. Her books have solid storylines, endearing characters, and wonderfully humorous elements. I'm not certain what caused me to take so long to warm up. I believe part of the problem is so many "villains". I use the term loosely since I'm referring to the Heroine's parents, the hero's family, and a true villain. The initial love story, where the main characters fell in love at sixteen and eighteen is fabulous. What tears them apart is a solid conflict. The reasoning for it comes so late and is wasted in it's lack of development. It is frustrating to me because it's such a waste; but perhaps that's the point. The hero has three best friends and they're delightfully fabulous and better get their own stories. Alex and Patience are extremely likable characters but they do a lot of hemming and hawing once they are reunited. Which I think is what turned me off for so long. Unfortunately I feel they finally get it together near the end of the book when it's almost too late. To read the entire review please visit: http://wp.me/p4XqxF-23p This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.
Again, not a fan of novels with leads who have “seen the real world” and changed, usually due to negative events. However, this novel struck a chord with me. I have known my husband all my life and fell in love with him long before we dated. However, we both had a lot of growing up to do. Had we tried a relationship before we did, I don’t think we would still be together. There is a time and place for everything and I certainly felt that in accordance with this novel. I think because of that, I felt more forgiving of all the little things that annoyed me in this novel, whether it was something eye-rolling worthy that someone said or did or something that was just cliché or annoying. Overall, I enjoyed this novel especially because I felt more connected to it than others. I could understand the character’s motivations and actions even if I didn’t agree with how they handled them. Definitely a touching second chance romance.
Really like historical books. Imaging what the time was like and if the events could happen the way the author envisions makes entertaining reading. Liked the story flow and the characters. Would recommend reading!
lady patience has been bullied and ordered about without fail by her father, by the fiancé she never wanted, and finally by lord alexander, the new duke of beresford. the man she fell in love with when she was but sixteen and who left her behind when she was forced into a betrothal with his brother. she spends a lot of time out of control of her own life in denying the duke. when alex left he assumed that his brother, cyrus, would marry patience quickly. but on his return to his estate after his brother's death and four years in the military under his belt, he finds that nothing is what he thought it would be. as much as he would like to pick up where they left off, too many things have happened to them separately that it's impossible to recapture the five-day idyll when they first fell in love. but the spark between them is still there. and maybe they aren't the same young fools in love, but there's a chance that they could find a richer, deeper sort of love together. the problem is that they are forever not communicating with each other and making assumptions about how the other person is feeling. all they need is to be locked together in a room and to not just talk but listen to each other. because the love they discovered four years earlier is still there. (and when you think about it, it does make total sense that they are complete idiots in love, she's only just twenty and he's twenty-five, sure that passed for adult in the regency era, but they're kids. i mean, alex wears a mustache to look older. they're kids. this was an enjoyable regency, and even though part of a series, it totally stands alone. **denying the duke will publish on july 10, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (scandalous) in exchange for my honest review.
Callie Hutton always pens a great novel, and this story is no exception. I loved the spirit, strength and determination Patience had in refusing to be bullied by the men in her life. Here is a heroine I can stand up and cheer for! Alex was a heartwarming character that only want to show Patience that not all men are brutes and bullies. He wants to protects her, cherish her, love her and gain her trust. This was a beautiful tale about second chances and holding out for the one thing that matters most: LOVE. *I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley & Entangled Publishing, LLC in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.
What a fun read!!! I love second chance romances!! There was passion, a strong heroine, danger, and denial. I fell in love with Patience and her struggles of being a woman in this time period. Callie did such a good job developing her inner dilemmas!
One of the things that I really like about Callie's writing is that she is able to evoke strong emotions about her characters. Alex I absolutely loved. As a second son, he was treated horribly by his family. When he finally found love, it was ripped away from him so he decided to venture out on his own and make a life for himself. The choices that he made left him emotionally scarred but despite that he was determined to make the best of his situation and lead a good life. He had horrible male role models but still managed to treat others better than he was treated. He wasn't perfect but he really made an effort to protect others. Alex and his friends made this book worth reading. I would love to read more about this loyal band of friends. Patience really drove me up the wall. She knew how horrible some men treated women. She saw it first hand with her abusive father and her fiance. She prayed for years for her first love, Alex, to return and rescue her but when he actually did, she wasn't the least bit grateful. She was a drama queen. She wanted to be taken seriously but when she didn't get her way, she ran away and refused to listen. She made a fool of Alex in front of the staff and their friends, repeatedly and worst of all, she used his decency against him. We have all met women like Patience who create unnecessary drama in their lives and lives of those around them. Fortunately, the long needed conversation was had which paved the way for these two to have an amicable life together. I really would have liked to see Patience's father end up in debtors prison. That would have been hilarious. I received a free, advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.
I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. The story of Patience and Alex begins 4 years earlier, when they meet and fall in love. She agrees to wait for him, since he is a second son with few prospects. Unknown to them both, their fathers have arranged her marriage to Alex's older brother. When this is announced Alex leaves home and his grandfather purchases him a commission in the military. While gone, his father dies and then his brother, leaving the Dukedom to him. He returns home and finds that Patience had not yet married his brother. The book has suspense that is related to his military days that involves the kidnapping of Patience by a traitor. They eventually have the HEA. The book is well written and I would highly recommend it.
'Denying the Duke' by Callie Hutton is Book Three in the "Lords and Ladies in Love" series. This is the story of Patience and Alex. I have read the previous books in this series but feel this can be a standalone book. Patience and Alex met when she was 16 and he was 21 and fell quickly into young Love. They made promise to each other that they would be together in three years. Alex is the second son of a Duke and needed to start a life and make he own way in the world. So he asked that Patience wait for him for three years until he can settle enough money to take a wife. But, Alex later learned at dinner that night Patience hand in marriage would be given to his older brother. Patience too learned after that promise to Alex that her father had planned all along to marry her to the oldest son. Alex up and left that night of the dinner never to talk to Patience again until 4 years later when Alex returns to take of the Title of Duke after his brother's death. Only then after returning does he learn that Patience never married his brother. But he has changed greatly from the young man he was to a more jaded person today. Along with Patience who was once a innocent carefree girl who at one time her father all but ignored. But after her refusal to marry Alex's older brother her father and his brother made her life terrible. Alex and Patience learn that the once brothel between her and the older brother now might have to be met with Alex and her. Both are shocked at the information. Can they use the feelings they once had to move forward past the hurt and anger that they have lived through.? Wow this book takes you in with just the first few pages of their young love. I didn't want to put this book down at all! Series Order:Book #1 Seducing the MarquessBook #2 Marrying the Wrong EarlBook #3 Denying the Duke"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
Four years ago the hopes and plans Alex and Patience had for a future together were shattered when they learned that their fathers announced that Patience was to be betrothed to Alex’s brother Cyrus, heir to the dukedom. Devastated, Alex convinced his grandfather to buy him a commission in the army. He spent three years on the continent in war. He spent the last year in America chasing and capturing a traitor (who managed to escape shortly after he was turned over to authorities). Just before his return to England, he received word that his father and brother had died, Cyrus recently in rather scandalous circumstances, and that he was now the duke. Upon his arrival back home, Alex discovers that Cyrus and Patience never married. He is pleased, but doesn’t know what that means for him and Patience. Almost immediately the Earl of Wilton begins to push Alex to marry Patience. The couple still cares for each other, but both have changed and would like some time to get to know each other again. Alex would like to learn to handle his duties and responsibilities as Duke, before they take a permanent step. Patience wants to be free of her abusive tyrant of a father. She simply wants someone to love her for herself. Is it possible these two will find in each other what they need to be happy? It looks a little doubtful for a while. Denying the Duke has an interesting, slightly complicated plot that unfolds as the hero and heroine take a long ride on an emotional roller coaster. There are secrets, plots, betrayal, mystery, kidnapping, a little bit of humor, and of course, romance. Alex is plagued by nightmares of the war and filled with uncertainty about his new life. Patience does come across as immature, but that can be contributed to the abusive life she has had. She has never had a chance to experience life and grow up. There is a lot for Alex and Patience to work out. Alex’s friends and Patience’s cousin are wonderful characters who are there to help them find their way. All in all, an entertaining read that holds your attention from beginning to end. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I voluntarily reviewed it and the comments are my own.
Bedfordshire, England - 1814 Lord Alexander (Alex) Pemberton, age 21, is the second son of the Sixth Duke of Bedford of Woburn Abbey. Alex’s older brother, Cyrus, the Marquess of Tavistock and heir to the Bedford Dukedom and his father have both never cared for Alex and simply tolerate his existence as “the spare.” Just down from university, Alex sees guests arriving and goes to meet them. A lovely young girl, Lady Patience Browning, age 16, is visiting with her parents. Patience knows she is a disappointment to her father because she is an old child and he has no heir. In addition, he beats her and her mother, so they simply tries to avoid him. During the visit to the Abbey, Alex and Patience spend time together enjoying one another’s company. Falling in love, they agree to wait for three years for her to come of age and for him to earn enough money to support her. But her mother soon bursts her bubble f happiness when she tells her that the families have arranged a betrothal between her and Cyrus, the Marquess. She warns Patience now to cross her father. Woburn Abbey - 1818 Alex has returned home after spending four years in the military. His father has passed away and his brother, Cyrus, has just died as well. Now, Alex is the Eighth Duke of Bedford. It appears that Cyrus and Patience never married and now her father is demanding that she marry Alex. But Patience is tired of men pushing her to do things because they will benefit in some way! She simply wants someone to love her for herself. Is there a way that Alex and Patience can rekindle the love they once shared without other people telling her how to live her life? Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
It's an interesting story. I liked it. Patience and Alex fell in love when they were quite young but as soon as their love story started it ended too. Now after four years they're seeing each other again. Both have changed, life hasn't been good to either of them. One thing still remains though i.e. their mutual attraction. They can't seem to stop wanting each other. Although, physical attraction might not be enough for a happy marriage. Patience has had it enough with over bearing men. Her father is the worst but Alex is no better. So she decides that she going to make sure that she doesn't become a door matt for him. Circumstances made it so that they have to get married. Alex needs a wife and wants to protect Patience from her father's abuse. And patience has no choice whatsoever. But she will make sure that her marriage is not like her parents'. She doesn't want to be a helpless woman anymore. Alex doesn't know how to convince Patience that he will never hurt her. He tries but she seem to think the worst of him. So he will have to show her that he cares for her. Their marriage may not be a love marriage but it will also not be a marriage of convenience. Unfortunately danger lurks in the corners and Alex doesn't have time to make sure that Patience is on the same page as him. For now he must focus on protecting her from getting hurt. His past is still following him. Until the traitor, who threatens is wife, is brought to justice there isn't going to be any peace for him. It's a cute story with a dash of realism. life isn't always easy, most times it turns out to be quite painful and not at all what we expect. Patience and Alex might get lucky and find their happiness in the end. Or may be their marriage is doomed from the start. I was given a complimentary copy of this book. I quite enjoyed reading it and would recommend to historical fiction fans. It's a well-written story with well-developed characters.
Accurate and succinct blurb which doesn't need more elaboration. The story overall is quite good. I started off liking both Patience and Alex. Patience, after years of being dictated to by her father with little to no say over her own fate has become tired of being bullied by men "A woman embittered by men’s machinations", Alex finds her when they come together again. Alex carries baggage from the horrors of war; the senseless killing and brutality & is no longer the open, charming man that Patience first fell in love with; "A man who had seen the horrors of war and was dealing with the assumption of a title he had not been trained for". The marriage starts off on not the best of terms, with Patience being resentful of what she felt was a forced marriage not of her choosing and makes Alex pay for it - no consummation until she agrees. She yields to intimacy but stops before the final act. Poor Alex. I thought it was unreasonable of her given that her only other choice was a forced marriage to a reprobate of an Earl of over 60 years of age. So yes, I did find Patience slightly immature and unreasonable. Still, overall a good read. ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Oh, to be young and naive. Patience and Alex thought love would be enough, but there were other plans at play. Callie Hutton never heads in the direction, I think she'll go. From heartache to tempting fate, she keeps her thoughts close to the vest and keeps readers guessing what's going to happen next. Denying The Heart plunders through a war, betrayal and heartache to create a courageous tale of love's power and life's hope. With the heart involved. ease is never to be expected only hoped for.