The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor Series #2)

The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor Series #2)

by Roseanna M. White

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Overview

A Riveting Edwardian Series Set among Britain's High Society

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.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has 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 Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when Rowena's father tries to trap Brice into marrying his daughter, Brice makes a surprising decision.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she's reluctant to marry a notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441229458
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Series: Ladies of the Manor Series , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 53,055
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

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 www.roseannamwhite.com.
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two kids, designing book covers, editing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books . . . to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

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The Reluctant Duchess 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
JustCommonly More than 1 year ago
O, our Duke of Nottingham! How I miss thee, well only for a few days. I read The Lost Heiress for the first time just days before The Reluctant Duchess. Roseanna M. White had beautifully continued (in a sense) the very characters I've begun to fall in love with. And even from The Lost Heiress, Brice's character really shine through, and I'm glad we finally get to his story. Having just lost his father, and now having plans this season that can be dangerous, Brice didn't expect to get married in the process, especially if it's in name only! But he did. That's who he is. He couldn't let this Highlander girl, a childhood friend of his sister Ella, fall into the hands of a man with mercenary eyes. A gentleman through and through, but will Lady Rowena open herself to him? Will she bury or rather let God heal her broken spirit and heart? Will she be able to trust again? "He is always directing us toward our better good. Sometimes that means trials, but they will lead us to the place where He knows we need to be. And He will always be there besides us, if we let Him in." (62) With twists and turns that weave through the story seamlessly, creating a beautiful story of love and strength, The Reluctant Duchess will give you no reason to be reluctant to pick this one up. Just look at the beautiful cover (I want that dress!). Tying in the intricacies of English and Scottish history, you'll be in for some lovely accents and cultural lessons. Complexities of characters, some with development since the first novel, and continued on to this, and others that are new and fully capable of having us invest our time and heart to. We must not forget the appearance of our favorite couple, Brook and Justin that ties into the series so well, yet still able to be read as a standalone. I look forward to the third novel featuring Ella, and see how she will stand her own among the heroines we've encountered in this Ladies of the Manor series. This review first appeared on Just Commonly Blog . NOTE: I received a copy of this book through CelebrateLit Publicity Tours for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
I went through so many emotions while reading this book as The Reluctant Duchess was filled with such suspenseful dramatic moments, blood diamonds/jewels with a curse, heart tugging situations, shocking secrets, unexpected twists and turns with an inspirational thread throughout, loved it! I totally enjoyed reading this story and look forward to the next book in the series. I would highly recommend this romantic suspense, I want more! I was gifted a copy by Bethany House and by Celebrate Lit to review with my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could hardly put it down.
Homesteading More than 1 year ago
I’ve been a member of Ms. White’s launch team for a while now and I can say that even if I wasn’t, I would have nothing but positives to say about this book. It has everything a fan of historical fiction could want--mystery, danger, romance, love. My heartstrings were pulled on more than one occasion and I might have even shed a few tears. Rowena’s story is tragic yet holds such a sense of renewal. It doesn’t hurt any that Brice is one of the best fictional characters I’ve read in a long time. His bulwark faith is phenomenal. The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor) is a solid five-star read. It’s book two in the Ladies of the Manor series so be sure and grab a copy of The Hesitant Heiress first. You won’t want to miss the awesome beginning to this series. I highly recommend it to any fan of historical fiction. I was provided a copy of the book from the author and publisher for review purposes only. Only my honest opinion of the book is required. No compensation has been received.
BethErin More than 1 year ago
Rowena Kinnaird has nearly lost all hope for a happy future because of seemingly insurmountable circumstances involving her heavy-handed father, cold stepmother, and dangerous, abusive suitor. Our friend Brice Myerston may be able to remove her from immediate danger but there are dangers waiting for him in England because of the mysterious treasure within his care. Brice is charming and flirtatious yet completely committed to his faith, family, and friends. Brice’s personality and discernment make him one of my favorite characters. Within the safety of Brice’s protection, Rowena finds healing and the courage to move forward. She blossoms into a confident, compassionate, and intelligent young woman. Rowena is an inspiring character. I won this title in a giveaway on Kav’s Best Reads. My thanks to Kav, the publisher, and author! The opinions expressed are my own.
StudentofParables More than 1 year ago
Are you looking for a work that will challenge you to think deeply about large concepts, while also holding on tight to the coattails of plot, as it dashes along? This is the book for you. What a great read. The pace is fast, relentless even, but the story is well told – keeping you invested until the very end. I enjoyed the depth of the author’s language, as her characters come alive through her expert writing. Best though, I loved the deep discussions of faith between the characters – which are much broader than I have found in other books with this setting. You wouldn’t initially expect a mystery love story to leave you lingering over the spiritual points discussed after you finished reading! But how each character relates to their faith, and how they deal with superstitions are integral to the plot, creating a one-of-a-kind read that I absolutely recommend.
God-Lover More than 1 year ago
Beautiful. Sigh-worthy. I swooned my way through “The Reluctant Duchess”. I fell head-over-heels in love with Brice, and I still have yet to recover. The romance was sweet, the mystery exciting and the characters flawed, but lovable. If you’re looking for a breath-taking Edwardian love story, “The Reluctant Duchess” is for you! I was given a copy of the book by the author in exchange for my honest review.
Freddikb More than 1 year ago
Is there anywhere to find safety? Lady Rowena Kinnaird is the heiress to a Highland Earldom. Along with that position comes daily struggles, and dangers. After she is attacked she is willing to do anything to get away and stay safe. Brice Myerston is the Duke of Nottingham and has always been popular with the ladies. He is in no way ready for the distractions Lady Rowena brings, however. He has enough going on having recently come into possession of a rare treasure he must keep safe. The last thing he needs is a damsel in distress. Can he turn his back on Rowena, though, when she desperately needs him? Can Rowena trust Brice at all? This story was enjoyable to read throughout. I liked how the characters mixed together to make the story stronger. There were intriguing people and situations. The story kept my interest from beginning to end. *I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed about the book are of my own thoughts on it.*
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
After a horrible attack by her beau, Rowena feels hopeless. Her father is pressing her to marry her attacker, and there seems to be no way to contradict his wishes. That is, until her father and cousin concoct a plan to marry Rowena to a visiting duke. It is Rowena’s only hope to escape her suitor, but will she be fleeing into more danger? The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White is beautiful! I enjoyed watching Rowena and Brice fall in love with each other. It took a lot of time and patience, especially because of the trauma and abuse Rowena had suffered and Brice’s secrets concerning the Fire Eyes. It was sweet and a little romantic with a bit of action twined in. The story considered a number of interesting topics. Abuse, which is putting it mildly, was a dominant theme. Poor Rowena suffered so much, from both her father and her horrible suitor. It is a wonder she ever learned to trust Brice. Another topic was unwanted pregnancy. If Rowena became pregnant because of the attack, how would she and her new husband, who is not the father, treat the child? Would Brice kick Rowena and her babe out of his home? Or would they attempt to abort the child or leave the infant on the church doorstep? A third topic was supernatural things, namely, curses. It is a Christian story, and it asks whether curses are real and what a Christian’s reaction to them should be. The author addressed all of these topics and did a great job of weaving them into the story. The one negative comment I have about the story is about the pace. Sometimes, I wanted to see parts of the story written out but they were skipped. For example, I would have liked to see Rowena meeting some of Brice’s family for the first time, which occurred not long after the wedding. But those days were skipped and summed up later. It was a little strange to see days and weeks at a time practically missing from the story. In all, I really did enjoy The Reluctant Duchess and would recommend it to those who love sweet, historical romances, especially of the inspirational and Christian kind. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
I read the first book in this series and really enjoyed it. Roseanna is actually one of my favorite authors. This book was all I expected it to be. Rowena' s mother passed away when she was young and her father raised her with a heavy hand. Her spirit is broken but not dead. She struggles with issues of self esteem, but she still has some fight left. And after an attack that left her damaged in more ways than one, she is determined to free herself from those who control her and a life of misery. A loving caretaker and an age old feud come to her aid without her knowledge. She is cast into a new role - one she least expects, but will it benefit her or only hurt her more? This book, although, a stand alone, includes characters from book one as well as the infamous "fire eyes" that caused so many problems. Rowena leaves one dangerous situation only to enter another one. One thing I love about Roseanna's books is her faith portrayed in her characters. Through her books the reader learns to trust God, as her stories are full of faith and character building situations. Of course there are some sad happenings, but they deepen the plot and make the story more interesting. The book also includes secrets and a bit of suspense. I really enjoyed it. I was blessed with this book by Bethany House and Celebrate Lit Blogger Group in exchange for my honest opinion.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White is the second book in the Ladies of the Manor series. It is 1912 in the Highlands in Scotland. Lady Rowena Kinnaird is her father’s heir (the estate is not entailed). Rowena has a low self-esteem (does not believe she is good enough thanks to her father and stepmother). Malcolm Kinnaird wishes to marry Rowena and will do anything (I mean anything if you get my drift) to make it happen (Rowena does not like him). Rowena does not wish to marry Malcolm (cruel, mean man), and, after she is attacked, she is afraid her father will force the match. Brice Myerston is arriving with his family and friends at Gaoth Lodge (it is his second house). Brice and his family are not invited to Douglas Kinnaird’s (Earl of Lochaber) home. They tried to be friendly, but Douglas Kinnaird wants nothing to do with them (do have a feeling it has something to do with a woman). That is why they are surprised when they receive an invitation to dine at the Kinnaird home (I have a feeling the Earl is up to something). Brice has enough on his plate. Lady Catherine Pratt is relentless in her hunt for the Fire Eyes. Brice cannot let them fall into her hands. What will Brice do when he finds himself in a comprising position with Rowena (with witnesses)? The Reluctant Duchess may be the second book in the Ladies of the Manor series, but you can read The Reluctant Duchess as a stand-alone novel. The first book will provide more of the backstory and make it easier to understand everything going on in this book (it is also a good book to read). I had some trouble with reading the Scottish dialect (some areas are written with their accent and it is hard to figure out). Overall, The Reluctant Duchess is an interesting story (I enjoyed the mystery around Fire Eyes). I found it well-written, engaging, and rich in historical details (though a wee bit predictable). We get to catch up with some people we met in The Lost Heiress (the first book in the series) as well. There are some difficult topics in the book that are not appropriate for younger readers (domestic violence being one of them). I give The Reluctant Duchess 4 out of 5 stars (which means I liked it). I look forward to reading the next book in the Ladies of the Manor series. I received a complimentary copy of The Reluctant Duchess from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review of the novel.
StaceyZink More than 1 year ago
The cover sold me on this book. I'll admit I love a good cover. I knew when I saw this book that I wanted to read it. I was thrilled when Bethany House offered a copy in exchange for a review. I've read Roseanna White's books before and believe she has a wonderful writers voice. It's easy to read, plus her use of a Scottish accent for Rowena is charming. I loved her characters. Brice proved to be a strong hero, but he brings his own issues to the novel. Tension is weaved throughout the story which means you should plan for a few late reading nights! A curse leads the read through this intriguing story. A strange mix of superstition and faith. Roseanna did a wonderful job of weaving the mystery and suspense into this book. A perfect combination with a side of romance (which I love).
LoriP123 More than 1 year ago
I loved this story! It is the second book in the Ladies of the Manor series by Roseanna M. White. Lady Rowena Kinnaired may be an heiress, but she has never felt good enough, not to anyone not even her family. After a brutal attack by someone that she thought she could trust she married the Duke not because she loved him, but to escape those that were threatening her life. Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham felt drawn to Rowena the first time that he saw her, but he didn't need a distraction to keep him from his very important goal of protecting those that he loves from those that will do anything in order to steal a very rare jewel that he has in his possession. Taking Rowena under his care seemed simple considering that he felt that he was doing it because the Lord was calling him to. The most difficult part of it all was to get his wife to see that he wasn't like the man that harmed her. That if he was given time he could show her what love was all about. I was given an ARC for an honest review. All conclusion are mine and mine alone.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
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.*
Nancmac More than 1 year ago
The story of Brice and Rowena was an excellent one. One of redemption and sweet love. I love how they are married from the very beginning and how Roseanna worked God into their engagement and marriage. The suspense, falling in love and trust built was fully believable too. The Fire Eyes are again the center of the suspense in the book and greed plays into the picture. Just enough to keep you turning the page too and not want to put the book down! You'll quickly fall in love with Brice and Rowena! And, as you turn the last page you will be anticipating book 3 and wish it were already out so you can continue the story! I know I didn't want it to end! If you love the Edwardian time period, you'll love this book. If you love learning about England and Scotland, this is a great book to read! She did a great job with her research. I love the side stories in the book as well as the main story between Brice and Rowena. Lillas and Mr. Child, I can't wait to see if something develops between them! The Abbotts and we get to hear from the Staffords from Book 1! And, let's not forget Lady Pratt! Such great characters written within the book!
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
An absolutely incredible historical romance! This book is part of a “true” series. To follow the story you need to have read the previous book in the series before this one. The main characters are delightful. Rowena Kinnaird is so well developed that I connected with her right away. I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and let her cry for all the pain she has endured at the hands of men before the start of the book. I remembered Brice Myerston from the first book in the series. It was wonderful to see where his life had taken him in the intervening year. His relationship with God is fantastic. He hears from God and does his best to follow the instructions he is given. Being human he does make mistakes and I enjoy watching him work through those times and figure out where he went wrong. The continuing story of the Fire Eyes gems from the first book is nicely interwoven into the romance between Rowena and Brice. I was captivated to see what would happen next in this plot line. The descriptions of the different regions of Great Britain were great. It was very interesting to me to read about the dislike between the highlanders in Scotland and the English in the lowlands. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
Kathae More than 1 year ago
Once again, Rosanna M. White has written a book that is meant to be savored. She takes her time, and fully develops the characters and storyline. Readers of The Lost Heiress will recognize many characters, and the plot line of the Fire Eyes jewels, but this book stands on its own. Rowena's transformation throughout the story is laudable, considering that she necessarily is in a self-preservation mode. It is encouraging to see her accept truth, friendship, and love from those around her as the story progresses. Brice, introduced in The Lost Heiress, is lovable for his strength of character, patience, and loyalty. I recommend this book to those who enjoy Edwardian fiction and romance. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, and Celebrate Lit, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
RSSMILES More than 1 year ago
Roseanna M. White is a master at weaving a dangerous mystery and a swoon worthy romance! This is an awesome second book in her Ladies of the Manor series. (There is a lot of back story in the first book so I would recommend you read that book first.) The story of the Duke of Nottingham continues in this book. I love his character! He's a swoon worthy hero for sure! :D Although some of the character traits that have made him so well liked are now working against him. He's so well liked in fact (especially with the ladies) that he has a hard time proving to his new wife that he's never been in love with any other girl. I love the fact that even though he's a really good man and person, the author shows where there is still room for him to change and grow. And then there is Rowena! Oh my! She will grab your heart! Her circumstances are so dire that she agrees to marry this man that she doesn't know and leave the place she has grown up in. The poor girl is so broken. I love the progression of her healing and restoration in this story. She has to learn how to trust and love again. The process may be painful but the end result is beautiful! The mystery and danger from the red diamonds continues in this book along with the schemes of Lady Catherine and her brother. I like how the plot moves quickly and makes you question who you think the villains are. There is plenty of adventure, romance, and mystery to keep you glued to the pages of this book! *Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions stated are my own. *
Nutz2read More than 1 year ago
May I just start this review by stating how much I enjoyed this book? It may be my favorite book of the year, so far! I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book since reading The Lost Heiress, the first book in the series, and I have to say that it far surpassed all of my expectations! I was captivated from the very first page and I found it incredibly difficult to put the book down and drag my brain back to present day. Ms. White always does an excellent job of creating characters that tug on my heart, and settings that burst to life. I loved the journey this book took me on and the chance to revisit some of my favorite settings - those of Ireland and England. Both countries have rich histories and sound like such enchanting places to visit. Roseanna brings her own unique touch to both settings and I loved the history she weaves throughout. I also really enjoyed the dialogue and how she included distinctly Irish terms and wording throughout, allowing me to vividly “hear” Rowena’s delightful Irish brogue, as well as Brice’s more refined English accent. Her characters are all painted with vibrant words and descriptions that caused them to climb right off the page and into my active imagination. I enjoyed getting to revisit characters from the previous book, as well as becoming thoroughly entrenched in the new characters’ lives. Rowena Kinnaird is the heroine of this story and she may have been my favorite new character in this story. She has such a tender heart, though it’s often hidden behind the walls pain and abuse have built around it. My heart broke for her more than once and she’s a character that I instantly connected with. Through her character the story deals with difficult topics such as abuse and constant fear that can be insidious. Though these topics are oftentimes dark, that isn’t the focus. There is a light of hope that is present throughout and I loved the focus on it, rather than the pain and sadness that is so often found in our world. Brice Myerston is the hero in this story, and I have to confess that I fell for his charm the first time I met him in The Lost Heiress. I’ve been anxiously awaiting his story and so enjoyed getting to know him better! He is kind and charming, with a relationship with the Lord that I frankly envy just a bit. He is also the perfect husband for Rowena, with his constant patience and easygoing manner. Though he sounds perfect, he does have his flaws, something that I think made him even more endearing. As this is a marriage of convenience story, much of the focus of the romance and even the spiritual topic revolves around learning to love a stranger. I really appreciated the repeated belief that love is not just an emotion, but also an action and a choice. There is this really beautiful quote found within the pages that makes that statement, and I love it, because it’s during a time when Brice is struggling to accept the truth he faces. I got to see and feel his struggle to follow God’s will and commands, which I found incredibly powerful. This book doesn’t present a cut and dried “happily ever after,” but rather shows what a marriage can look like when both are determined to love the Lord and one another, despite the pain and odds between them. It wasn’t an easy story and oftentimes wasn’t that pretty, but it was real and I loved that. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of this book! This is my honest review and all opinions expressed are my own.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
“Love is not just a thing, after all, it is an action too.” The Reluctant Duchess is an exceptional story! As I opened the beautiful cover, I was quickly swept away and immersed in the drama that unfolded. Evoking imagery and emotion from the first word until the last, Roseanna White captivated me with Rowena and Brice’s journey. I loved the intrigue and romance of The Reluctant Duchess and highly recommend this novel to historical fiction fans! The Reluctant Duchess is the second book in the Ladies of the Manor series. While there are continuing themes from the first book, the story itself is independent of The Lost Heiress. I loved both of these novels and eagerly await the release of Book 3, A Lady Unrivaled. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
artsybookworm More than 1 year ago
The Reluctant Duchess is the second book in The Ladies of The Manor series by Roseanna M. White. I don't know how she does it, but her style, characters, and plots are never dull or skim worthy. I recommend that you read the first book in this series otherwise you will be confused since it's basically one long story even though the main characters are different in each book since it's all interconnected. Lady Rowena Kinnaird wants to leave her father's castle. She has suffered enough abuse under him and now with Malcolm, the man she is supposed to marry. Is she always destined to be unhappy? Brice Myerston has recently become the Duke of Nottingham following his father's death. While he stays in his home in Scotland with his mother and sister, he figures out a way to hide the Fire Eyes in plain sight. Meanwhile, Brice's mother invites the Kinnaird has she does every year to come to the castle and socialize. She is shocked when Rowena and her stepmother show up. They are all surprised when they in turn are invited to the Kinnaird's for dinner. They all go and enjoy an evening of fun, but then the Kinnaird's plot comes out when they realize he is trying to force Brice to marry Rowena by manipulating events in his favor. This story was fascinating from beginning to end. Rowena was an interesting character and Brice definitely met his match with her. They were so different but managed to find common ground and even learned from each other. I liked how Brice wasn't the perfect guy like he was portrayed to be in the first book. They faced some hard things but kept God the focus making their struggles surmountable. I can't wait to read the next one!! I was given this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
gatorade635 More than 1 year ago
This book had so much going for it before I even started the first page! First of all I love this author's books in general and the first book in this series was absolutely amazing. Secondly I loved Brice's character in The Lost Heiress and couldn't wait to see his story play out. And the last reason was the fact that this is a marriage of convenience story, and anyone who knows anything about my reading habits knows that that is one of my absolute favorite story lines. So with all of those reasons getting me giddy excited I dove in, and lost myself in the amazingness that was The Reluctant Duchess. As I already mentioned I was already a huge fan of Brice's before I began this book and each page only served to make me like him more and more. I loved his selfless nature, his desire to do anything to protect and care for those close to him, his close relationship with God, and the way he was so clearly tuned into, and willing to follow, the Spirit's leading. Rowena was a wonderful heroine as well, and my heart broke for all the pain she'd endured. But I admired the way that she never let it fully break her. Life beat her down time and again but she found a way to keep living. I also loved the fact that she was so authentic and didn't hide who she was. She had such a caring and loving heart and it shone through her actions. Rowena and Brice really were a well matched couple and I loved seeing their relationship and watching their love for each other slowly grow. There were so many moments that completely made me melt, but I won't spoil them! It was also great fun to catch up with the characters from the previous book and see how their lives had played out since we last saw them. The Fire Eyes were once again the center of the action and mystery and there was enough intrigue to keep me hooked throughout the book. There were even some twists that I didn't even see coming! So basically this book was one hundred percent awesome and I highly recommend this series! Can't wait for Ella's story! I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
There are so many things I enjoyed about this book! Rowena's consistent Scottish burr was a delight to imagine in my head as her voice. It made her character distinctive and unique from the others in the story. Her brokenness of spirit creates empathy and her strength of will, admiration. The way she learns to recognize God's blessings in her life and turn to Him is a subtle and inspiring theme. The intrigue of the plot is one continued from the previous book in the Ladies of the Manor series, The Lost Heiress. Once again I read the second book before the first, but I felt like the author did a good job of catching the reader up (without being obvious or info dumping) so this book can be read as a stand alone. Brice's friends who starred in the first book make a significant appearance in this book so it made me anxious to read The Lost Heiress and not only read their love story but see the origins of the diamonds entering and disrupting their lives. Brice is a great hero- charming and friendly, yet fiercely protective of Rowena and a spiritual leader to both her and their friends. I appreciated that he also had a journey of self-realization and turned to the Lord for grace in overcoming his weaknesses. The dangers faced by Rowena and Brice kept the story moving forward, yet there was a definite focus on their relationship and efforts to learn to trust and love. (Thank you to Celebrate Lit Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
MichelleKrim More than 1 year ago
This was unexpectedly an intriguing story. I've never read anything from this author, but she has quickly moved to my favorites list. With plenty of romance, a little bit of mystery and danger, it was a well-written book that was difficult to put down. The characters were engaging and there were enough plot twists to keep me guessing what would happen next. I also loved that the book included a list of characters at the beginning. Call me a book nerd, but I always enjoy visual aids with a story. It's a great reference to keep track of the relationships between characters and the different names and titles to which they are referred. Characters: Ahhh! How much did I fall in love with Brice? He's definitely one of my favorite heroes ever! Even though he's not completely perfect, he's pretty darn close. I loved having a strong, Christian character who is determined to follow where God is calling him. I love how honorable he is and how devoted he becomes to his new wife. Rowena is broken- what she's been through makes her endearing. I like that the author didn’t try to keep the attack secretive but lets you know outright what happened. I love that Rowena's so sympathetic and willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the woman Brice claims is not trustworthy. Recommendation: I'd highly recommend this story to those who enjoy marriage of convenience and Edwardian Era stories. It's the second book of the Ladies of the Manor series, and I'd recommend reading The Lost Heiress first, as I feel they're closely connected. There is a story arc that will go through the whole series, surrounding the Fire Eyes. If you enjoy Downton Abbey and that era, this is a great read. Rating: 5/5 stars I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
Writingsof_Rosie More than 1 year ago
A marvelous, historic tale set in the early 1900s! I loved Ms. White's previous historical series, The Culper Ring, so I have been yearning to lay my hands on this recent series of hers, Ladies of the Manor. As I am a bit behind on my reading I have not had the pleasure of reading the first book, The Lost Heiress, however this did not detract from my reading experience in the slightest! The Reluctant Duchess is a great stand alone, though to my understanding it does incorporate characters from the prior book. Rowena is our leading lady in this title. I grew very attached to her--right off the first page! I'm pretty sure I fell in love with her accent too. Wow! She's been so hurt in the past that she's weary of new acquaintances--especially the ones thrust upon her--but her relationship with her younger step-sister was precious. Her character arc was really well done. Ms. White, I felt, progressed Rowena's growth at a realistic and reasonable pace. I adored how everything came together. The way this story was crafted made me feel transported back in time. The details of the era are enough to bring your imagination to life, without overwhelming you. This time period holds such a magnificent elegance and The Reluctant Duchess does not disappoint. Overall I was pleased with this novel, its story-line, and its characters, I have already placed a hold on The Lost Heiress at my local library, and I cannot wait to pick it up. Nor can I wait for A Lady Unrivaled's release later this year. Ms. White's writing is incredible and I highly encourage you to check this one out at the earliest opportunity-- especially if you love historical novels. ;-) I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!