Sunday, April 24, 2016

Review: The Reluctant Duchess

The Reluctant Duchess
By Roseanna M. White
Ladies of the Manor, #2
Bethany House, 2016


Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she’s 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 those threatening her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, yet the last thing he needs is the distraction of the newly introduced Lady Rowena. He has enough on his plate having recently come into possession of a rare treasure for which many would kill, yet those around him seem intent on pairing him with this desperate but beguiling girl.

Rowena is reluctant to marry this notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’ll end up in more danger than she fled.

My thoughts

When it comes to historical fiction, Roseanna M. White is one author I would never want to miss. Sweeping in its grandeur, The Reluctant Duchess combines many essential elements into one fascinating and compelling read – vivid settings, rich characterization, and a storyline that will keep readers eagerly turning the pages. Reading book #1 in this series, The Lost Heiress, would provide important background and familiarity with some of the characters, but enough information is provided to make The Reluctant Duchess stand alone.

Danger and suspense steadily drive the plot, yet it was the character-driven aspect that I enjoyed most. Rowena – “a lost child, hurt by those who should have loved her” – has suffered a tragedy at the hands of someone she trusted, a tragedy that no woman should ever experience, leaving her feeling abandoned by God. The scars she carries can’t help but affect her relationship with Brice, and the theme of suffering is one to which all can relate. Rowena is a sympathetic and appealing character and I loved her Scottish dialect.

Roseanna has created one of my favorite male leads in Brice – a kind, charming, and witty gentleman, a man of strong faith who seeks the Lord’s guidance and is obedient to spiritual promptings. His love, gentleness, patience and protectiveness toward Rowena seemed to reflect the selfless agape love that we strive for in relationships. The chemistry between Brice and Rowena is great, and their slowly growing friendship, trust and love is a delight to behold.

The Reluctant Duchess is filled with atmospheric mood, historical detail, and legends. We see the devastation wrought by greed and lust, and most moving to me is the triumph of good over evil, light over dark. Roseanna’s novels always have a clear spiritual message woven seamlessly into her stories. I loved Brice’s words to Rowena as he reminded her that God “is always directing us toward our better good. Sometimes that means trials, but they will lead us to the place where He knows we need to be. And He will always be there beside us, if we but let Him in.”

Highly recommended.


        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.

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and Bethany Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



To celebrate the release of her book,
Roseanna is giving away a few of Roseanna’s favorite things.
Click on picture above or this link to enter.

1 comment:

  1. Carole, I love your review! I am looking forward to reading this novel. :)