About the Book
Will Fleeing the Scottish Highlands Only Leave Her in More Danger?
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.
Roseanna White is skilled at penning historical fiction! I enjoyed the Scottish elements of this particular story. The haunting setting...the clash of classes and loyalties...the interesting discussion of curses and whether or not they truly pose a threat. It's a good blend of intriguing descriptions, a compelling and varied cast of characters, and a fairly unique topic and backdrop for the genre.
The poor heroine endures some awful trials and difficult changes in this story. But the Duke of Nottingham makes for a very tender and caring hero, which makes for a happy romance reader! The depictions of patient love as the story goes on are simply lovely.
As for the plot, my first impression was that the climax was a bit of a letdown, perhaps a bit rushed compared to all the build-up. But the build-up makes for an engaging read for the most part, and I feel like the conclusion is still satisfying, even if I got a bit bored toward the end and looked ahead to see what was coming.
The Reluctant Duchess is a well-written historical romance that's both sinister and sentimental in turn. And the finale definitely stirs up some curiosity for the third book in the Ladies of the Manor series, A Lady Unrivaled.
*With thanks to Bethany House for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*