Claudia Dain has been published in romance since 2000. A graduate of the University of Southern California, she is a native of Los Angeles, but currently lives in North Carolina. She is a USA Today Bestselling author and a two-time Rita finalist. She writes Women's Fiction as Claudia Welch.
Much Ado About Duttonby Claudia Dain
Anne had been
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It all began in The Courtesan's Daughter and continued through the next four books of the Courtesan Chronicles. The Marquis of Dutton didn't pay the slightest bit of attention to Anne Warren until he found out that she was the daughter of a courtesan. His careless, confident, ill-considered pursuit of her began upon that lurid foundation.
Anne had been smitten by the dashing Lord Dutton from her first encounter with him. But to be pursued because her mother was a woman of the demi-monde? No. That was unacceptable. Anne was not going to make the mistakes her mother had made, each decision taking her further down the social ladder. Anne meant to improve her station, not hobble it with an amorous encounter with the nearly irresistible Lord Dutton.
Over the course of the London Season of 1802, Dutton pursued and lost Anne again and again. He became something of a drunken sot about it all, even a laughingstock. When Anne married Lord Staverton, his fall was complete. Anne married wisely, and Dutton was befuddled by it.
Two years later, in the 1804 Season, Anne is a widow and Dutton is sober. Lady Staverton and Lord Dutton, both available and both still interested, continue the seductive dance they began when she was his social inferior. She is no longer his inferior, and because of that, the tables have turned and Dutton is at her mercy.
Or perhaps Anne is at Dutton's mercy.
It all depends upon whom you ask.
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It is part of the More Courtesan Chronicles series which comes after the Courtesan Chronicles series. Two years ago, Lord Dutton made it clear to widow Anne Warren that he wanted her. Unfortunately, Dutton only decided this after learning that Anne's mother had been a courtesan and she made it clear that she didn't want anything to do with him and soon marries a proper gentleman. Dutton drowns his sorrows in a liquor bottle. Two years have passed and Dutton is sober and Anne is a widow again. Dutton is determined to get Anne into his bed where Anne is now willing to be, but on her terms. Will they be able to agree to the terms of their relationship? After getting any book from NetGalley, I go to the author page to see if it is a part of a series. After seeing how closely related these books were, I made my way through the series to get ready for this book. Some books in a series can be read on their own without any confusion of the story line. I don't believe that this is case with this series. The whole series (except this one which jumps ahead 2 yrs.) takes place in about 4 weeks of time. There are so many different characters in the series, that had I not read all of the previous books, I would have been thoroughly confused (even having read them all, it was at times confusing to keep all the characters straight in my head). Having said all of that, I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and this particular story. The series follows Lady Dalby (Sophia), a former courtesan, who plays matchmaker throughout the course of the books. Most of the characters show up throughout the whole series, so we are able to see glimpses of their lives too. We are introduced to Lord Dutton and Anne Warren in the first book (The Courtesan's Daughter) and their story carries on throughout the rest of the series coming to a conclusion with this one. We know from reading the other books that Anne is attracted to Dutton, but needs to make a good marriage because of her background. After her husband dies, she knows that she can now go to Dutton on an even playing field. She is no longer the daughter of a courtesan, but Lady Staverton. Anne turns the tables on Dutton and makes him dance to her tune. Thank goodness this series is continuing. The next book in the series is Taming Miss Grey which is about Sophia's niece. There is a scene in Much Ado About Dutton that leads us to the stories of the Ardenzy twins. You can find there stories HERE on Amazon (only $0.99). I'll be reading those tonight! I've given this story a four out of five only for the fact that is was really hard to keep everyone straight in my mind. I LOVE this series, but it would have been a bit more enjoyable had I not had to keep so many characters straight in my head! Thanks go out to NetGalley and Aspendawn Books for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
What a clever story that incorporates some characters and alludes to events from earlier works in The Courtesan Chronicles. A late regency story, the details and world building are all appropriate and incorporate the societal norms of the time while still managing to keep the story enjoyable for readers with more modern sensibilities. The banter between the characters, and their obvious familiarity with one another is deliciously penned and provides readers with several moments of laughter, as well as providing tension that enhances character connections. Other characters weave into the story in enjoyable ways, allowing the readers familiar with the series to catch up with their lives, and providing those unfamiliar with a taste of the stories that came before, while not being overly distracting or difficult to understand. Ann is delightful and strong, with a sense of herself that is not hampered by her rather lowly beginnings. As the daughter of a courtesan, her fate would normally leave her out of society: her marriage improved her station, and while tongues may wag her position as a widow is solid and acceptable. Dutton is a son of a titled man, although his father was a rogue and rather distasteful, he has worked hard to redeem himself in society's eyes. While he often is defensive and believing that people will often prejudge him because of his father, he is growing up and making efforts to be an honourable man. With some truly striking and clever moments as the two battle for supremacy in the relationship as they deny their attractions, the story runs from one moment to the next without letting up: giving the reader a real page turner. Add in some heartfelt moments of soul-bearing and reconciliation and this story is a wonderful read. I'm now curious about the books in The Courtesan Chronicles, and think that readers of that series will be more than pleased with this installments. I received an eBook copy from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.