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The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor)

by Roseanna M. White

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I love this author. I just wish she could write faster, just kidding, no not really. I love the way she develops her characters. She captures my interest right from the start and doesn't let go until the last page and beyond. I can't wait for the next book in the series. ( )
  Sandralb | Sep 22, 2017 |
3.5 stars

I’m something of a new convert to Edwardian Fiction, and have not been a consistent follower of Downton Abbey, so it’s not always my ‘thing’. I did however, very much enjoy the last book in this series The Lost Heiress so I jumped at the chance to read this one.
I loved some of the characters. Brice was just adorable, and the absent-minded but cheery Ella was so endearing. It would indeed be hard to remain depressed for very long in the presence of people like them. I liked how the story carried on the subplot of the last one with the conflict over the diamonds, but in a lot of ways this was in the background. The main theme was Brice and Rowena’s stormy relationship.

In some ways, I commend authors who want to explore such subjects as the impact of emotional and psychological trauma and abuse. Yet I would say it depends on how it’s done. I don’t like to see totally unnecessary rape scenes in books, and I absolutely don’t support the use of such content simply to rank up the drama and tension. I don’t believe the author does this with the protagonists, but some of the themes might be hard to deal with for some readers. The attendant themes of grace, forgiveness and acceptance were also well handled even if some of the character’s behaviour was inconsistent. For instance, Rowena was not meant to be a confident person, and yet threw a hissy fit when she got jealous of her husband and thought he was trying to control her.

My main issues were with the language. I did not feel that the representation of the Scottish characters accent, dialect and some of their attitudes was entirely realistic. It’s all ‘Dinnae fash yerself lass’. Sorry, but as a Brit, who is quite used to hearing Scottish people speak, it just seemed exaggerated and very stereotypical. Dare I say more like how Americans think a person from the Highlands would speak then how they actually do? Seriously, not everyone in the Highlands speaks Gaelic (some actually speak a dialect that is heavily influenced by Old Norse), and not everyone speaks like Sean Connery or Gerard Butler. The present day Duke of Argyll, for instance, does not even have a ‘Scottish accent’ at all.
Also, what many American readers would think of as ‘Scottish’ terms and phrases are also used extensively in Northern England as well. Yes, you could hear people in rural Yorkshire saying things like ‘lass, aye and ye’. Finally, British people do not usually talk about ‘getting new drapes’ or ‘drawing back the drapes’. We call them curtains. Those kind of Americanisms stand out.

I did doubt that a Highland Earl of the early 20th century would have been quite so insular and narrow-minded. Rowena’s family for instance would refer to events like the Jacobite rebellion as recent history, when they had happened like 200 years before. I appreciate that there has always been and always well be a certain degree of friction between Scotland and England which really goes back to Anglo-Saxon times, but to me it did not seem to fit the setting and period. In one place for instance, Brice asked Rowena why she had not had many aristocratic suitors, and she said they were all English. Really? What about Wales and Ireland? Britain consists of three counties, it’s not a synonym of England.

Also, I found it took me a long time to get through this book. It part that was because of other commitments, but I did find it heavy-going in a lot of places. Perhaps it had to do with the depth and scope of the work, but it does not normally take me a month to get through a book like this. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but just noting it. I think I would read it again, but devote more time to doing so, and I am interested in the next and final book in the series due out in September.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley (and also the paperback via their UK distributors) for the purposes of giving a review. I was not required to write a positive one and all opinions expressed are my own.
( )
  Medievalgirl | Oct 4, 2016 |
It is as huge let down when you remember that a book is a work of fiction. I loved the characters in this book and really wanted them to be real!

This is the second book of Roseanna M. White's "Ladies of the Manor" series. Of course, I missed out on reading the first book and jumped right to the second. It was obvious that this was a second book, but I was able to keep up with the story and the plot without a problem. I have ordered the first book, The Lost Heiress, and look forward to reading it! The third book comes out in September and I can't wait to get my hands on it. :)

In this book Rowena is a young Scottish noble who has been emotionally and physically abused. She is broken by events that she had no control over. Her self-esteem is low and she desperately needs to be loved.

Brice is an English noble who is visiting his lands in Scotland. He is basically ambushed into marriage with Rowena. He sees the woman that she is and knows that he was meant to help her. He listens as he is directed by the Spirit and lives his life trying to be the best person he can be. He saves her from her situation.

I loved that this book looks at the emotional and physical scars of abuse. The book shows the healing that can happen when a person is in a secure environment, surrounded by people who accept them. It also shows how the Savior can heal and lead people to a better way of life.

The book also talks about corruption and the love of money and power. Brice is on a dangerous journey to find justice for the events in the first book. (Another reason for me to read it!) I understood his reasoning and events that occurred. The information was just enough to keep me interested and invested in this story.

I really enjoyed this book! It has kissing, mention of a rape, and mild violence. ( )
  Bookworm_Lisa | Jun 8, 2016 |
Title: The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor #2)
Author: Roseanna M. White
Pages: 400
Year: 2016
Publisher: Bethany House
My rating is 4 stars.
The Duke of Nottingham or Brice to his friends has always gotten by on his charm. He does have a strong relationship with the Lord and seeks His counsel often. However, now God has asked him to marry a stranger to protect her. Brice wants to ignore God, but God is persistently telling him to marry her. Brice goes through with the marriage to this Scottish woman, Rowena Kinnaird and finds a woman terrified of most everything. His friends and relatives question his hasty marriage, but he tells them what God wanted him to do. In addition to a new marriage to basically a stranger, Brice is still in possession of the Fire Eyes diamonds. These diamonds and their story take place in book one in the series, The Lost Heiress. Brice is sure Lady Pratt and her brother are still after the jewels and will do anything to get them, but there is another threat that Brice is completely unaware of on the horizon.
Rowena Kinnaird has survived a brutal assault of a man she thought loved her just two weeks before her unexpected marriage to an English duke. She didn’t want to marry, but was given no choice by her abusive father. She now has left Scotland and everything she has known her whole life. She lives in fear and has nightmares. She doesn’t trust her new husband and sees the dark side of most things instead of God’s light. She believes in God; she just hasn’t talked to Him in a long time. Over the course of the next few months, her life will change drastically.
Brice’s character was just great! He had a sense of humor, wasn’t afraid to poke fun at himself, admitted his faults and sought out God at every turn. He obeyed God even when he didn’t want to or it didn’t make sense to him. I could feel the fear that saturated Rowena and her sense of unworthiness. She had lived as a victim of abuse, which colored everything she experienced. Her character seemed realistic to me. I really liked the theme of faith woven into several of the characters as they lived their faith be deed and word.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | May 26, 2016 |
The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White is the second book in the Ladies of the Manor series. It is 1912 in the Highlands in Scotland. Lady Rowena Kinnaird is her father’s heir (the estate is not entailed). Rowena has a low self-esteem (does not believe she is good enough thanks to her father and stepmother). Malcolm Kinnaird wishes to marry Rowena and will do anything (I mean anything if you get my drift) to make it happen (Rowena does not like him). Rowena does not wish to marry Malcolm (cruel, mean man), and, after she is attacked, she is afraid her father will force the match. Brice Myerston is arriving with his family and friends at Gaoth Lodge (it is his second house). Brice and his family are not invited to Douglas Kinnaird’s (Earl of Lochaber) home. They tried to be friendly, but Douglas Kinnaird wants nothing to do with them (do have a feeling it has something to do with a woman). That is why they are surprised when they receive an invitation to dine at the Kinnaird home (I have a feeling the Earl is up to something). Brice has enough on his plate. Lady Catherine Pratt is relentless in her hunt for the Fire Eyes. Brice cannot let them fall into her hands. What will Brice do when he finds himself in a comprising position with Rowena (with witnesses)?

The Reluctant Duchess may be the second book in the Ladies of the Manor series, but you can read The Reluctant Duchess as a stand-alone novel. The first book will provide more of the backstory and make it easier to understand everything going on in this book (it is also a good book to read). I had some trouble with reading the Scottish dialect (some areas are written with their accent and it is hard to figure out). Overall, The Reluctant Duchess is an interesting story (I enjoyed the mystery around Fire Eyes). I found it well-written, engaging, and rich in historical details (though a wee bit predictable). We get to catch up with some people we met in The Lost Heiress (the first book in the series) as well. There are some difficult topics in the book that are not appropriate for younger readers (domestic violence being one of them). I give The Reluctant Duchess 4 out of 5 stars (which means I liked it). I look forward to reading the next book in the Ladies of the Manor series.

I received a complimentary copy of The Reluctant Duchess from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review of the novel. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | May 18, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764213512, Paperback)

A Riveting Edwardian Series Set among Britain's High Society

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has 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 Loch Morar.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when Rowena's father tries to trap Brice into marrying his daughter, Brice makes a surprising decision.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she's reluctant to marry a notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she's about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 13 Aug 2015 06:20:58 -0400)

After a shocking attack, heiress Rowena Kinnaird feels betrayed by her family and the man she was to marry. She flees the Highlands, landing at the Duke of Nottingham's door. Rowena needs help but is hesitant to trust a flirt like Brice. Then she learns his life is also under threat. When her father locates her, can she and Brice find a way out of danger?… (more)

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