Author: Anne Gracie

Review: The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie

Posted November 16, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Perfect Rake by Anne GracieReviewer: Holly
The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie
Series: The Merridew Sisters #1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: July 5, 2005
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 360
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

She ran from a brute...

Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters' chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke...But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster.

...into the arms of a rake

Aristocratic Gideon, handsome, rakish and with a strong frivolous streak, casually hijacks Prudence's game, awarding himself a stolen kiss or three along the way. Used to managing sisters and elderly men, Prudence is completely out of her depth with a charming, devious and utterly irresistible rake. And her plot goes terribly—if deliciously—awry...

The Perfect Rake is the first book in Anne Gracie’s Merridew Sisters trilogy. Tracy recommended this to me after I finished Marry in Scarlet. As it happens, it has a very similar theme to My Darling Duke by Stacy Reid, which I read shortly before this one. I really enjoyed it.

Prue and her younger sisters are being abused at the hands of their grandfather, their guardian since their parents’ death. When he falls down the stairs after a particularly brutal attack against her youngest sister, she sees it as a chance to finally be free of him. If she can get just one of her sister’s married, she can claim their inheritance and take them away from him forever. She forges a letter from their Guardian to their uncle, enlisting his help to give the older girls a season. The problem? Their uncle refuses to launch her sisters until she herself is wed. What she hasn’t told him is that she’s already engaged…to a man he’ll find completely unacceptable. So she does something daring…she claims to be engaged to a reclusive duke, one who hasn’t been out in society in years. She just needs enough time to get one of her sisters wed, and then she can give up the deception. Of course things are never that easy. It just so happens the Duke has come to town to find a bride himself. Prue knows they can’t go back to their grandfather, so she rushes to the Duke’s home to ask him to please keep her secret.

Gideon is reluctantly charmed by the headstrong girl who bursts into his friend’s home to demand he keep up her charade. When she assumes he’s the Duke, he doesn’t correct her at first, mostly because he’s convinced she was a gold-digger at first. It isn’t long before he realizes there’s a quiet desperation to the spitfire. He’s intrigued and wants to know more about her, but she wants nothing to do with him. As they traverse the season together, he realizes she’s more than he could ever have dreamed..now he just has to convince her she wants him just as much.

Prue, her sisters and both Carridan and the Duke were wonderful. I also loved the secondary characters. I loved how into Prue Gideon was. Every time someone mentioned the plain Merridew sister and he was confused I wanted to hug him. I liked how Prue was steadfast and loyal, and took care of her sisters.

This was a really light read, which worked against it in some areas. The early part of the book deals with some pretty heavy themes, but I never felt like they were explored. That was a missed opportunity.

Still, I can’t deny I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Merridew Sisters

four-stars


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Review: Marry in Scarlet by Anne Gracie

Posted November 9, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Marry in Scarlet by Anne GracieReviewer: Holly
Marry in Scarlet by Anne Gracie
Series: Marriage of Convenience #4
Also in this series: Marry in Scandal
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 344
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A marriage born of passion and scandal turns into something more from the bestselling author of Marry in Secret.

When a duke denied...

The proud and arrogant Duke of Everingham is determined to secure a marriage of convenience with heiress Lady Georgiana Rutherford. He's the biggest prize on the London marriage mart, pursued by young unmarried ladies and their match-making mamas, as well as married women with a wandering eye. He can have any woman he wants. Or so he thinks...
...Hunts an independent lady...
Lady Georgiana Rutherford—irreverent and unconventional—has no plans to marry. Having grown up poor, Lady George has no intention of giving up her fortune to become dependent on the dubious and unreliable goodwill of a man. Especially a man as insufferable as the Duke of Everingham, whose kisses stirs unwelcome and unsettling emotions...

...Sparks are sure to fly

The more she defies him, the more the duke wants her, until an argument at a ball spirals into a passionate embrace. Caught in a compromising position, the duke announces their betrothal. George is furious, and when gossip claims she deliberately entrapped the duke—when she was the one who was trapped—she marches down the aisle in a scarlet wedding dress. But the unlikely bride and groom may have found love in the most improbable of places—a marriage of convenience.

Marry in Scarlet is the fourth book in the Marriage of Convenience series by Anne Gracie, but the first book by the author I’ve read. Ames recommended it. This was a cute historical romance.

The Duke of Everingham, Hart to his friends, was left at the alter. Lady Agatha, aunt to the girl who jilted him, suggests he marry her other niece instead. Lady Georgiana has no desire to marry, and Hart is frankly offended that Lady Agatha thinks he’d be willing to marry another girl from this family when one already stood him up. After spending some time with Lady George, Hart realizes she’s nothing like her cousin, and he becomes determined to marry her…no matter what she says.

Lady George has no desire to marry. She wants to retire to the country and raise horses. When she’s caught in a compromising position with the Duke, she still refuses…much to his chagrin. Eventually his mother manipulates her into saying yes, but she has no desire to become a dutiful duchess.

I enjoyed George, the heroine, quite a bit. The first half really frustrated me. George got railroaded left and right, and Aunt Agatha really angered me. The second half was much better. I liked seeing George and Hart settle into each other. The kids at the end kind of came out of nowhere, but they were cute and I liked the story overall.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Marriage of Convenience

four-stars


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Guest Review: Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie

Posted April 16, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Marry in Scandal by Anne GracieReviewer: Tracy
Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie
Series: Marriage of Convenience #2
Also in this series: Marry in Scarlet
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 3rd 2018
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Shy young heiress, Lady Lily Rutherford, is in no hurry to marry. She dreams of true love and a real courtship. But when disaster strikes, she finds herself facing a scandal-forced marriage to her rescuer, Edward Galbraith, a well known rake.

Despite his reputation Lily is drawn to the handsome Galbraith. In the gamble of her life, she agrees to marry him, hoping to turn a convenient marriage into a love match.

As heir to a title, Galbraith knows he must wed, so a convenient marriage suits him perfectly. But there is a darkness in his past, and secrets he refuses to share with his tender-hearted young bride. All Lily's efforts to get close to him fall on stony ground, and in desperation she retreats to his childhood home—the place he's avoided for nearly a decade.

Must Lily reconcile herself to a marriage without love? Or will Galbraith realize that this warm-hearted, loving girl is the key to healing the wounds of his past—and his heart?

Lily is an heiress and while a husband would be nice, she definitely wants to marry for love.  Her brother married for convenience, but that match turned into true love. After seeing love at work in her home, she definitely wants that for herself.  Unfortunately there are others who have something else in mind.  Lily is tricked into thinking her sister needs help and kidnapped by a man who only wants Lily for her money.  She manages to escape and is saved by Lord Galbraith, a friend of her brothers.  Despite all the machinations to keep Lily’s identity a secret it only took one person seeing her to ruin her reputation.

Galbraith is a rake (at least we are told he is, we see no evidence of this in the book) and as such, not the marrying kind.  He is, however, the heir to a title so he knows he must marry eventually.  When he realizes that Lily’s reputation has been compromised, although they did nothing but kiss, he offers for her.  Galbraith tries everything he can to keep away from Lily because her softness draws him like a bee to honey.  He can’t let himself get in deep with the woman as he has serious secrets and guilt from his past. He can’t keep himself away for too long, however.

I loved Lily in this book.  She was clever and smart and tough.  She put up with a whole hell of a lot in the first part of this book but she didn’t just sit back and let it happen. She saved herself and I was so proud of her!  Her father had made her think she was an idiot because she couldn’t read (I’m assuming dyslexia) and that had been carried with her throughout the years.  She had a good head on her shoulders.  When it came to Galbraith I was happy that she stood up for what she wanted (him) and didn’t let him get away.  I liked her strength of character.

Despite Galbraith supposedly being a rake he was actually quite a gentleman and honorable.  He helped Lily when she needed it and made every effort to protect her.  When he couldn’t he stepped up to the plate.  He had some issues that were worked out in the book and they played a part in the making of his personality, but they got smoothed out in the end.  He really was a good man and I liked him a lot.

Another great book from Anne Gracie!  I’m not sure how I missed the first book in this series when it released but I did.  Despite that I didn’t feel like I needed to read it in order to read this book.  There were a few times that events from the previous book were mentioned that I didn’t understand, but they were so minor I wasn’t worried I was missing anything.   Definitely a book I’d recommend.

Marriage of Convenience

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie

Posted June 22, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Spring Bride by Anne GracieReviewer: Tracy
The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie
Series: The Chance Sisters #3
Also in this series: The Winter Bride
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Format: eARC
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

On the eve of the London Season, Jane Chance is about to make her entrance into high society. And after a childhood riddled with poverty and hardship, Jane intends to make a good, safe, sensible marriage. All goes according to plan until a dark, dangerous vagabond helps her rescue a dog.

Zachary Black is all kinds of unsuitable—a former spy, now in disguise, he’s wanted for murder. His instructions: to lie low until his name is cleared. But Zach has never followed the rules, and he wants Jane Chance for his own.

If that means blazing his way into London society, in whatever guise suits him, that’s what he’ll do. Jane knows she shouldn’t fall in love with this unreliable, if devastatingly attractive, rogue. But Zach is determined—and he‘s a man accustomed to getting what he wants.

Tracy’s review of The Spring Bride (Chance Sisters #3) by Anne Gracie

Jane Chance’s two older sisters are married to the men that they fell in love with. Of course those sisters want her to find love as well, but that’s not what Jane wants – at least that’s what she tells herself. Her parents came from good families but each of their families wanted them to marry other people. When they chose love over their families they were both disowned. Jane grew up knowing her parents were in love but they were destitute. Jane wants children of her own and as much as she appreciates that her parents were in love she wants to raise children with the security of knowing that they will never have to worry about where they will sleep at night or if they’ll have enough food. To this end Jane accepts a marriage proposal from a man that will give her the security she craves. She doesn’t love him but maybe she will grow to love him in time.

Zachary Black has returned to England, after 12 years, at the behest of his best friend. He finds that his cousin is on the cusp of having Zach declared dead. He can easily prove who he is but finds out that when he does he will be arrested for a murder that he supposedly committed 12 years earlier, but did not. He’s been a spy for his government for the past eight years and has had to blend in constantly so when his friend tells him that he needs to lie low so that no one will recognize him he stays in his gypsy disguise.

While in disguise and out walking in London Zach saves Jane from some street thugs. She was in an alley rescuing a dog and the thugs turned on her. Zach is mesmerized by Jane so when she asks him to walk the dog to her house he accepts. From then on every day that Jane walks the dog in the park by her house Zach is there waiting to walk with her. He loves talking to her and he soon discovers he has feeling for her. Unfortunately he has this whole murder thing hanging over his head and then he finds out that Jane is engaged. He decides that he needs to do whatever it takes to get the woman he loves to be with him but there might be too many obstacles standing in his way.

The Spring Bride is a relatively simple story but so very sweet I just loved it. Yes, there was the murder charge hanging over Zach’s head and the ease which he believed it would be cleared didn’t exactly pan out, but other than that there wasn’t a whole lot of angst in the book and I really appreciated that.

Seeing Zach and Jane getting to know each other and seeing their feelings for each other grow just warmed my heart. Yes, Jane was stubborn at times but I understood her fears that had to do with safety and security. She really wanted the whole package – the love and the security – but was too afraid to let herself hope for that. Because of that she believed that accepting the proposal of Lord Cambury – who was a bit of a jerk – was the right thing to do. Even when she finally figured out that Cambury wasn’t who she wanted to marry she let him down very nicely and I admired her even more.

Zach was a wonderful hero. He was an intelligent man who had been blindsided by a woman and I loved seeing him felled by Jane. He had a good heart and I admired his strength as well. He’d been abused as a child but he had become a good, honorable man who definitely did not take after his father.

Overall the book was a lovely romance and one I very much enjoyed reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars


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Review: The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie

Posted April 2, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Winter Bride by Anne GracieReviewer: Tracy
The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie
Series: The Chance Sisters #2
Also in this series: The Spring Bride
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Format: eARC
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Four young women face a life of destitution—until a daring act changes their fortune and turns them each into a beautiful bride.

Damaris Chance’s unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice Davenham, convinces her to make her coming out anyway—and have a season of carefree, uncomplicated fun.

When Damaris finds herself trapped in a compromising situation with the handsome rake Freddy Monkton-Coombes, she has no choice but to agree to wed him—as long as it’s in name only. Her new husband seems to accept her terms, but Freddy has a plan of his own: to seduce his reluctant winter bride.

Will Damaris’s secrets destroy her chance at true happiness? Or can Freddy help her cast off the shackles of the past, and yield to delicious temptation?

Damaris is determined not to marry. Her guardian wants her to have a season but she’s not sure it’s a good idea. She has her reasons for not marrying and she’s sticking to her guns.

Freddy is a friend of Damaris’s brother-in-law and was asked to look after Damaris and her sisters while he’s on his honeymoon. Freddy wants nothing to do with it all but agrees anyway. As much as he says he wants nothing to do with the girls he’s been pretty much smitten with Damaris from the minute he saw her.

Freddy finds out that his mother is planning a house party and inviting tons of eligible women. She insists that he WILL get engaged during the party and on the last night, at the ball, announce his engagement. Freddy normally would just ignore his mother but she deviously planned the house party around the only day of the year he ever sets foot at home – the day of his brothers yearly memorial service. Freddy knows he can’t stay away from his home on that day but he doesn’t want to get engaged. What he does is ask Damaris to play his fiancé and act like they’re engaged so that his mother will cancel the party and it works.

Damaris is excited that Freddy plans on buying her a cottage in payment for the fake engagement but she hates lying to her sisters and guardian. In order to get away from it all Freddy makes an exception and takes her to his home (two weeks before the memorial service) to meet his parents.

During the time that Damaris and Freddy are at his home Damaris gets closer and closer to Freddy. She finds out info about him that puts new light on the way he acts in public and her heart opens to him and she falls in love. Unfortunately she still won’t allow herself to marry because of something horrible that happened in her past. Fortunately she finally tells Freddy and it all works out in the end.

This was such a great yet highly emotional book for me. I really love Gracie’s writing and this proved to be just as good as the other books of hers I’ve read.

The reason this one was so emotional for me, I think, was because of Freddy and all he’d gone through in his life. The guilt he’d carried around due to the death of his brother when he was just 12 and the nasty way his parents had treated him. His parents are HORRIBLE! They are vile and condescending and were two people who should never have had children. They treat Freddy like he doesn’t even exist in the world except to create an heir. Freddy is used to being treated as such – even though he doesn’t like it (he tries to hide that fact), but Damaris is appalled at the way that he’s treated and takes it upon herself to tell his parents what she thinks of them. I was totally cheering for Damaris when she did this, let me tell you. They deserved that and so much more!

Damaris’s background was also something that was not the greatest and the telling of her story made my heart hurt. She had been through so much and survived. She really was a strong woman and I admired her so much for that.

The romance between Freddy and Damaris was sweet and loving and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it. This story is one, imho, that is not to be missed.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Anne Gracie

four-stars


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