The Duke's Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid
Series: Scandalous House of Calydon #1
Publication Date: April 14th 2014
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As far as rash decisions go, it was formidable. But Lady Jocelyn Rathbourne's will remains strong. If the only way to save her family's estate and reputation is by aiming a small pistol at the Duke of Calydon, then so be it. For Lady Jocelyn demands satisfaction - and she will have it at any cost. Even if it means demanding the hand of the intense and foreboding Duke himself...
But she's made the first move against a very dangerous opponent...
For Sebastian Thornton is no stripling to be trifled with. The lady has played her hand. Now it's his turn. For Sebastian is in need of a wife. And to find a wife with spirit and fire - even if she means to only marry for his money - would be a great prize indeed. And he intends to thoroughly take his pleasure with her... and demands his own satisfaction in return.
A Scandalous Novella
Our story begins with Lady Jocelyn meeting with the Duke of Calydon…and pulling a pistol on him. He’s, of course, ice cold and doesn’t really care, but humors the woman. She states that his brother seduced her and promised marriage and she demands that he marry her – even though it’s just been announced that he’s engaged to someone else. She’s a bit unnerved to find out that the brother isn’t just engaged – he’s eloped and is actually married. That puts Jocelyn in a bit of a spot. She quickly decides that the duke will just have to take one for the team and she demands that he marry her.
The duke actually agrees! She’s a bit thrown that he agrees but is happy her family will be saved as they live in genteel poverty. They marry the next day but life with a cold duke isn’t all Jocelyn thought it would be. She manages to get him to spend more time with her each day than the day before but all good things must come to an end. Jocelyn, while arguing with Sebastian, throws something from his past in his face and he shuts down and shuts her out. Jocelyn doesn’t know if it’s anything she can fix, but she’s certainly going to try.
This story started out a bit abruptly. The duke seems to accept Jocelyn’s demand for marriage quite well and while I know it shocked Jocelyn, it shocked me as well. We had no background on the characters so it was a little hard to know exactly what they were thinking. As the book moves on we do get to know them and we find out what Sebastian’s motivations were.
This is a short novel but the author managed to make me want Sebastian and Jocelyn to work out their issues and make the marriage work. Both Jocelyn and Sebastian were great characters (each with their flaws, of course) – both so stubborn and so much alike that I knew they were going to have their issues. I do wish we could have seen more of their “good” times together – even a scene or two – as that would have let me see the good times (instead of just being told by the heroine) and that bad times as well. Marriages are hard work so seeing the good as well as the bad would have provided a good balance.
I liked the romance in this one and the story was pretty sexy as well. There were times when I wanted to smack both Jocelyn and Sebastian but overall I really enjoyed their story. I’ll be looking for more from this author in the future.
Rating: 4 out of 5
You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.