The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M White

ReluctantDuchess_mck.indd*Giveaway Link at the end of this post! Check it out.*

First thoughts:  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 by which they are referred.

Plot:  Lady Rowena Kinnaird suffered a brutal attack at the hands of her intended.  Then her father comes up with a plan, unbeknownst to her, to trap the Duke of Nottingham, force a marriage and save his daughter’s reputation.  The Duke, Brice Myerston, had no intention of being forced into marriage, until he meets her intended  Malcom Kinnaird, distant cousin.  His abusive treatment of Rowena gives Brice second thoughts and they agree to wed.  Soon after,  Rowena learns that her new husband has a plan to expose the widowed Lady Catherine Pratt for her role in a kidnapping.  After hearing of a curse surrounding the Fire Eyes, rare and extremely expensive red diamonds that are rumored to be in Brice’s possession, Rowena determines to be rid of them and end the curse.

Protect her.  That had been the impression that had seized Brice’s heart when that blasted Scot charged into the room, and it reverberated still now, as he looked down into the chalky face of the woman who had just agreed to marry him.

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.

 For more on Roseanna M. White and her books or to enter her fun giveaway, check out her blog here

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Even though my to be read pile is always huge, I’m always up for trying new books.  Have you read any good books lately?  I’d love to hear about them.

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

If I Run

First thoughts: This book was so fresh and unique!  I loved every minute of it.  While I usually struggle with the first person perspective, this one was so well written that I barely noticed it as I became engrossed in the storyline.  I liked that the author didn’t shy away from Dylan’s PTSD and his dark thoughts.  It brought grit and reality to the story.   This Continue reading

Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg *Plus Giveaway Links*

Like Never Before

First thoughts: I’ve officially joined the Logan Walker Fan Club!  Talk about a swoon-worthy hero.  After seeing the author gush about him all over social media, it was great to finally get to know Logan.  I’ve been looking forward to this story from the moment I finished reading the previous book.  Like Never Before had everything I’ve come to expect from Melissa Tagg:  the meet-cute, where the hero and heroine meet under entertaining circumstances, plenty of classic movie references, loads of romance, charming heroes that melt your heart and a quaint setting that makes you feel right at home.  This book tugged at my heartstrings one moment and made me laugh the next.  It was an absolute joy to read!

Plot:  When the newspaper owner of Maple Valley, Iowa dies, Amelia Bentley is left to run things until the new owner takes over.  She plans a spectacular anniversary edition, one that will convince them to keep the paper going.  Successful speechwriter Logan Walker, left alone with a young daughter when his wife died, finds himself with the chance of a lifetime: become a speechwriter for a presidential campaign.  However, he must first return to his hometown and figure out what to do about the paper he just inherited.  Amelia will try her best to convince him to keep the paper, but Logan must decide between following his dreams, his heart, or what’s best for his daughter.

Characters:  Amelia is such a fun character.  From the way she’s crushing on Logan and reading all the speeches he writes to her devotion to Maple Valley, despite having only lived there a few years, her passion comes off the page in a way you can feel.  I love her obsession with Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindberg.  Logan is full of conflict.  He’s trying to take care of his daughter, Charlie, but his former in-laws don’t think he’s good enough.  Amelia’s trying to persuade him to come back and write for the paper and his business partner is depending on him to secure the job with the presidential candidate.  Logan goes through a gauntlet of emotion and rough times, but through it all, he shows his strength, loyalty and dependability.

Recommendation:   I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys classic romantic comedies.  I really enjoy the classic movie references she throws into the story.  Like Never Before is the second book in the Walker Family Series, but it can stand alone.  However, Melissa Tagg’s stories are so good that you’ll want to read them all.

Rating:  5/5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Check out Melissa Tagg’s  Blog Post and Giveaway

For More on this author’s books:  Melissa Tagg’s Website

Check it out on Goodreads and enter the giveaway:  Hurry!  It ends soon.  Goodreads Giveaway

A fellow blogger’s review and giveaway here

Buy the Kindle Book on Amazon and start reading now!  Walker Family Series