Philip – Lord Rawlings – is a duke in need of money. When his father died, there was a stipulation in the will that he had to marry before turning 30 in order to receive his inheritance. Abigail (Abby) is the younger sister of Emma from the book Seduction of Sebastian. You have to read that book to understand the animosity on the part of Abby towards her sister.
Emma and Sebastian are hosting Abby for her season. Abby has set her sights on Phillip, but he is trying to dissuade her of that notice. He does not think he is good enough for her.
At the same time, Emma and Sebastian are trying to help Phillip get married. They feel indebted to him because he helped them get together. Among the ton, Phillip is known as a rake and reprobate. Polite society refuses to associate with him. Since Sebastian is known as the “Angel Duke” beyond reproach, Emma hopes their association can help change his image so that he can marry.
Abby did seem to be immature in the way she tried to manipulate the situation, but she had good intentions. Phillip thought he had nothing to live for, but was trying to fight giving the ton any other reasons to vilify him. Sebastian and Emma proved to be great supporting characters and the kind friends that Philip needs to help him come around. Once he accepts the fact that he is in love, it is easier to embrace Abby’s love for him.
In the prologue, Emma is almost the victim of a sexual assault. That changes her from a fun loving adventurous young girl to a jaded and somewhat bitter person. With some reluctance years later, her parents allow her to have a season in order to find a husband.
Sebastian, also known as “Angel Duke” since his reputation as a buffer proof, is looking for wife. He needs to choose but he is bored with his choices of immature debutantes. He meets and is drawn to Emma. She acknowledges the attraction but does not even feel she is a worthy contender for marriage considering her perceived sordid past. He is a duke that is above reproach and she is supposedly “tainted”.
Side note: it is sad to me that when a woman is a victim of a sexual assault, people still judge her as if she caused it to happen. No woman asks for it. As in Emma’s case, it is usually a mentally twisted man whose desires motivate him to take by force what is not belong to him.
Back to the story…
Emma and Sebastian have a similar goal: get married. They agreed to help each other find spouses. This was funny to me since it is obvious that they want each other. There was plenty of back and forth funny banter between the two of them. I was laughing out loud at Emma’s so-called efforts to try to seduce Sebastian. She was such an innocent that it was cute.
In the end, Sebastian and Emma confront their respective demons and are able to resolve the issues holding them back from acknowledging their love for each other. This was a great story!
Anthony and Ambrose are twin brothers that make it their aim to decide at the beginning of the Season which young lady will receive their attention. It seems that when they pay attention to a certain lady, the resulting ton spotlight make the ladies more eligible and they usually get married by the end of the Season. To make things interesting and to alleviate the boredom, they make a bet that they can make anyone popular, even wallflower like Cordelia.
Cordelia is currently out of favor with the town since she had to work as an indentured servant to pay off her father’s debts. She does not want to be noticed. Hence: wallflower. She is trying to make herself invisible by hiding behind the foliage.
Funny thing about bets and gossiping members of the town, it is a sure way for the person who would be offended (i.e. Cordelia) to find out. And that is precisely what happened. Somewhere along the way Ambrose finds that he has deeper feelings for her than he thought. But all that trash talking he was doing before he came to that realization threatens to ruin their relationship. This is especially true since Cordelia is still insecure about the fact that he has supposedly fallen for her.
I thought that this was a sweet short story. Variations of this story have been done time and time again: man there to make unpopular girl popular falls for said girl. In this version of the common plotline, the twin brothers’ bet adds some humor to the mix. After the couple fall out with one another, I like how Ambrose made it up to Cordelia. Even though it got a little sappy, it was cute. I was laughing at his antics to win Cordelia back.
But I am surprised that in the end Anthony and Ambrose would make another bet. Really? Did they not learn their lesson from the first bet gone wrong? And why did Cordelia endorse it?
In The Heir (The Duke’s Obsession) Anna is a housekeeper for Westhaven (Gail Wyndam) and she is very good at her job. Westhaven is a Duke in need of a wife to beget an heir. His father has become so obsessed with getting him married, it is common knowledge around town.
While Westhaven is coming more attracted to his housekeeper, who is supposedly a widow, it is becoming more and more apparent all is not what it seems. The more that Westhaven presses for Anna to trust him, the more resolute she becomes in her plans to leave his house.
It becomes evident to the reader that Westhaven indeed loves Anna, but he bungles his words so that she is confused to his intentions. Either he is too ambiguous or sounding quite arrogant. Hence he proposes to her several times. I found this quite funny because I knew what he was trying to say, but he just made a mess of it. There were times that he should have just stayed quiet. Most romance novels, there is not enough communication. In this story, there was communication, but it was not done very well on his part. Anna was hiding a secret and could not really be sure if she could open up to Westhaven for support. I think that character Anna acted the way she did mainly because she was confused.
As the book progresses, Anna’s past catches up with her and gets resolved. Westhaven’s father finally gets what he wants only after leaving well enough alone. Westhaven finally finds a woman that he feels is worthy of his title and to be the mother of his children. Read the book to understand how it all comes together.
This is the author’s first novel. Good job! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although it is a Victorian historical romance, the social activities did not play a major role. Considering the fact that Westhaven was courting his housekeeper, it made sense. I would recommend this novel to anyone that likes historical romances. It was a nice story and it had funny parts too.
In the prologue Marcus makes his mother a promise while she is on her dying bed. He promises to marry a girl who was coming because of a promise his mother made to her childhood friend. Marcus is a duke and needs to get married to produce an heir.
Miranda arrives at his door during a rainstorm. Soaked to the core, the Butler does not turn her away. While she is waiting, she meets a very charming man and is hopeful that he is the Duke. Only to find out later that he was St. John, the Duke’s brother and the Duke and St. John do not get along at all. Miranda is so naive that she does not discern the undercurrents of animosity between them. Marcus marries Miranda to save her honor but he makes it plain that he does not really want to do so.
Marcus bad attitude come about because he is quite jaded with women. In the beginning it seemed that he was still grieving his first wife, but he was disgusted with her deception and thirst for position and wealth. With all his emotional baggage, he has a difficult time understanding how Miranda can be true loyal and seemingly innocent.
After a non-eventful wedding night Marcus goes on his fact-finding mission in London to determine his mother’s sins. He wants to understand what caused her to feel so guilty to make him promise to marry Miranda. And while the Duke is away, young brother is doing his best to charm the new bride Miranda. It was like leaving a lamb in the company of a hungry wolf. She is confused because she thinks he’s being overly kind to welcome her to the family. Considering she is an innocent, she is clueless to his real intentions. As the reader I could tell St. John was up to no good.
I was wondering:
How far would St John really go?
When is Marcus getting home?
When will Miranda get a clue?
Marcus was in need of an honest woman who would live in harmony with her marriage vows. Miranda had a hard life through no fault of her own and she needed a chance to prove her worth. I got my happy ever after ending and Marcus and Miranda get what they need. St. John got some of what he deserves and a great dose of undeserved kindness.
The title The Inconvenient Duchess still puzzled me. The only thing I can think of is that Miranda arrived at Marcus’s house at an inconvenient time I’m not sure what other title I could suggest, but the title does not really give any indication of the plot. Nevertheless I enjoyed the story. I was stressing a little bit because I wanted it to work out for Marcus and Miranda and knew that St. John was the main source of conflict.