12 April 2016

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White


About the Book
★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
Will fleeing the Scottish Highlands only leave her in more danger? 

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 and the men who have jeopardized her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has suddenly 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 his neighbor, Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when the moody Earl of Lochabar tries to trap Brice into marrying Rowena, Brice finds he’s not as opposed to the idea as he expected to be.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to resort to marrying a notorious flirt just to gain his English home. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of 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.

Danger lurks at every turn in Roseanna M. White’s The Reluctant Duchess, an enticing historical novel involving romance and intrigue. With a quickly moving plot and a complex cast of characters to keep me interested, I had a hard time putting this book down once I picked it up. 

Lady Rowena Kinnaird lives at the mercy of overbearing, quick-tempered men and suffers from feelings of worthlessness and inferiority. The charming and flirtatious Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, arrives in the Scottish Highlands just in time to save her life - only to introduce a new threat, provoked by the consuming desire for a rare treasure he possesses. Together, Rowena and Brice then navigate a dramatic storyline, filled with greed, envy, jealousy, and betrayal that jeopardize their hopes of healing, truth, and love, all the way to a satisfying conclusion.

As the second novel in her Ladies of the Manor series, The Reluctant Duchess’ plot revisits many familiar characters from The Lost Heiress (and their histories) amidst the introduction of a few new ones. While certain aspects allow The Reluctant Duchess to be read on its own, reading The Lost Heiress first does help. Simply put, both Ladies of the Manor books offers excellent reads to fans of historical romance, and I heartily recommend them. 

Thanks to Celebrate Lit, I received a copy of The Reluctant Duchess and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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. The Reluctant Duchess is Roseanna’s eleventh published book. Her novels range from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at her website.

Guest Post From Roseanna M. White
Though I’ve written nearly thirty books, thirteen of which will be out by the end of 2016, there’s something very special about the Ladies of the Manor Series. The first book, The Lost Heiress, is a rewrite of the first novel I ever wrote—at the age of 12-13. Once I finished that first novel, I made it my goal to keep adding more manuscripts to my “finished” file. I started in immediately on the sequel . . . and soon ran into a problem. You see, I knew who I wanted these characters to be. Brice Myerston, a duke, whom readers would have met in the first book. And a young lady from Scotland who had suffered abuse.

That’s it. That’s all I knew. And it stymied 13-year-old me, who hadn’t a clue what it felt like to suffer such things, and whose imagination, while rich, just lacked a certain basis in the realities of human nature. Probably a good thing that I gave up on the story back then, and didn’t dust it off again until my mid-20s, when I was reworking the series. And better still that Rowena had many more drafts to go through before she finally took to the printed page in The Reluctant Duchess.

I narrowed my setting down, during those years, to the Highlands, and I chose Loch Morar because of how perfectly the region of Lochaber suited the story I wanted to tell. Isolated. Stark. Rugged. Beautiful. Sometimes cruel. This was a land utterly perfect for my heroine’s family, for her back story. Then came the challenge of picking a clan for her to belong to—because lemme just tell you, one could quite easily offend with such choices, if not portrayed properly, LOL. And because I wanted her father to be chief of her clan, I ran the risk of people mistaking him for the actual chief, if I chose an actual clan.

A writing friend came to rescue and offered her last name for my heroine: Kinnaird (pronounced “kin-AIRD”), which is a sept (branch) of another clan in reality, so had no chief of its own, but was still a well-established Scottish name. Perfect!

So Rowena Kinnaird was born after many years of her character floating in and around my head and computer screen. And I got to pair this backward, sometimes shy, sometimes stubborn Scottish lass with the charming, suave, polished English duke I’d had planned out since I was 13.

I went to great pains in The Lost Heiress to make Brice Myerston a favorite character, so that readers HAD to read his story. Mwa ha ha ha. 😉  So far, so good on that score! Brice is a hero who has his faults, but he also has character. He has faith. He has a good heart, he’s considerate, he’s understanding. And he’s also so accustomed to charming everything female that he doesn’t quite know what to do when Rowena doesn’t seem inclined to be charmed.

There are clashes. There is tension. There’s much healing on Rowena’s part. Many trials for them both. But I hope that through this story of The Reluctant Duchess readers see what it means to triumph over past hurts. And how brightly God shines against the darkness.

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Giveaway
To celebrate the release of her book, Roseanna is giving away a few of Rowena’s favorite things. Click here to enter to win.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful Cover! I hope I win. I haven't read book 1 yet but I plan too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So glad you enjoyed the book--thanks for the feature!

    ReplyDelete

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