Author: Anne Gracie

Guest Review: The Scoundrel’s Daughter by Anne Gracie

Posted May 2, 2022 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Scoundrel’s Daughter by Anne GracieReviewer: Tracy
The Scoundrel's Daughter by Anne Gracie
Series: The Brides of Bellaire Gardens #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 24, 2021
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 336
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When Lady Charlton is forced into becoming London's most reluctant matchmaker, sparks fly and romance ensues, from the national bestselling author of Marry in Scarlet.

Alice, Lady Charlton, is finally free of her dominating husband, but on the verge of her new life, she is trapped when a blackmailer threatens to publish letters that could ruin her. To protect the secrets of her past Alice must find a lord for his daughter, Lucy, to marry.

Alice reluctantly agrees to find the girl a noble husband but when Lucy arrives, she's difficult and uncooperative and has no interest in her father's scheme. A lord, she says, will only look down his nose at her—and she's having none of that!

Desperate to retrieve the letters, Alice enlists the aid of her handsome young nephew, Gerald, who in turn seeks the help of his former commanding officer, James, Lord Tarrant. James is soon beguiled by the marriage-averse widow and sets out to change her mind. And each time they meet, Gerald and Lucy strike sparks off each other.

To find happiness, Alice and Lucy will have to be brave and trust in each other and the men who are attempting to win their hearts.

Alice is thrilled to be alone.  She doesn’t have much money, but she’d rather that then what she had when her husband was alive.  Alice’s deceased husband was an ass (hereafter referred to as The Ass).  He belittled and denigrated Alice at every turn, especially in public.  He was horrid and when he died, he left most of his wealth to his mistress.

Alice is happy, despite her financial situation, until she receives a visit from a Mr. Bamber.  He is in possession of letters that The Ass wrote to his mistress.  In these letters The Ass wrote horrible things about Alice, even about their time in bed together during their marriage, that are most embarrassing. Bamber states he will release these letters to the public if Alice doesn’t do what he wants – which is to have Alice bring out his daughter in society.  Not wanting the letters to get out, Alice agrees.

After a rough start, Alice and Lucy soon start making the rounds of balls and routs to introduce Lucy to society.  Lucy is introduced as Alice’s goddaughter so this put’s Alice’s nephew’s guard up since he’s never heard of Lucy. While Gerald is looking into Lucy, Gerald’s commanding office when he was in the Army, James, has set his sights on Alice.  Of course after the marriage she had, Alice has no desire to marry again, ever.

This was my second time reading this story.  I liked Alice so very much and my heart went out to her.  After 18 years with The Ass she was done with marriage for good.  James really had his work cut out for him in trying to woo her.  He was a father to three girls, and I loved how much he cared for them.  They really came first for him and that was obvious to the reader.  I thought that Alice and James made a great couple though I felt their romance was on the slim side.  He saw her and decided she was The One and it moved quickly from there.  I did enjoy reading about their time together, but it was fast.

Lucy and Gerald were also perfect for each other.  Unfortunately, I felt there was even less of a romance between these two.  They argued constantly and then they were kissing and getting engaged.  Granted, Lucy thought it was a fake engagement, but only Gerald knew it was real. While we got to know Lucy, I didn’t feel like I knew Gerald all that much by the end of the book.

Despite my issues with the romances the overall setting and tone and writing in the book kept my attention and I enjoyed the story.  I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Brides of Bellaire Gardens

three-half-stars


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Review: The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie

Posted November 16, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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
Add It: Goodreads
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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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