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Marry in Scarlet

by Anne Gracie

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Georgianna isn't interested in marriage even though the Duke of Everingham is determined to have her. He traps her in a compromising position and she is forced to marry him. He wants a marriage of convenience, but... well, this is a pretty well-worn trope in regency books.
Anyway, Ms Gracie manages to write two interesting characters and an enjoyable story, so I found it a good and fast read. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Aug 22, 2020 |
Anne Gracie is the reason I started reading romances again after many years; she is underrated and deserves many more accolades for her fun, lovely, characters and very engaging stories. Finally getting George’s tale was worth the wait, and I was surprised that the hero had some good self-reflection as he started as an ass. ( )
  spinsterrevival | May 29, 2020 |
Series: Marriage of Convenience #4
Publication Date: 5/26/20
Number of Pages: 336

Whew! What a delightfully entertaining and lustful couple Hart and George turn out to be. I absolutely adored each of them and could easily see why they were so very skittish and protective of their hearts. Thank goodness for manipulative and interfering family members who end up making the right thing happen for all of the wrong reasons.

When we last saw Redmond Jasper Hartley (Hart), the fifth Duke of Everingham, he was being left at the altar by his betrothed (Marry In Secret). He has a very low opinion of women and being left at the altar did nothing to soften that opinion. After all, he and his father had been manipulated by the champion manipulator, his mother, and he had no reason to believe any female would be different. No, he didn’t love his betrothed, but he had negotiated in good faith and he’d been livid at being left standing at the altar. Yes, he has a reputation of being cold, unfeeling, arrogant, and aloof – and he believes he is – just as everyone else does. When he decides to seek another bride, he has specific criteria – she must be independent minded and not hang off his sleeve, one who would like to retire to the country and keep out of his way, they need have few interactions other than conjugal visits.

Lady Georgiana (George) Rutherford loves her newly found family and has absolutely no intention of giving them up. She also has absolutely no intention of marrying. Men are a worthless, faithless lot and she sees no reason to subjugate herself to one. It is her desire to live in the country and breed horses and dogs and to care for other animals. She doesn’t give a fig about what any male has to offer her – money, prestige, titles – she doesn’t want any part of it.

George and Hart are really two kindred souls – both a product of their unhappy experiences early in their lives – but neither of them can see that. When Georgiana is brought to Hart’s attention – in the most manipulative of ways, of course – he is incensed. But then, when he sees her – and kisses her. That does it for him – he decides she is the one who will be his bride – whether she wants to or not. So, he begins his own plan of manipulation and entrapment.

I loved watching Hart and George at war with each other. Neither was going to give in and each was bound and determined to win. When Hart compromised her and then announced their betrothal, she was incensed. But, later, when he offered her the opportunity to get out of the betrothal, she decided to let it stand. She didn’t know why. What had possessed her?

They are two very passionate, very caring people and it was a delight to get to know them and to see them find their way to a loving, passionate life together. I hope you’ll enjoy this story as much as I did.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ( )
  BarbaraRogers | May 24, 2020 |
Scandals galore!

A humorous rendition of the marriage of convenience trope.
Redmond Jasper Hartley, the fifth Duke of Everingham, has been left at the altar. Now the punctilious Lady Salter, his mother's friend, and aunt to his ex fiancé, has decided that another of her niece's would be the answer. After all the Dukedom needed an heir.
Well neither Lady Georgiana nor the Duke agree. They didn't like each other. Except, there was that moment of laxity and The Kiss at a ball. Furthermore at a musical soirée, the unexpected continuation of that kiss thrust them into the ton's notice in such a way that nothing but an engagement would do. Though even that was taken out of George's control much to her anger.
I adored Lady Georgiana Rutherford, George to her family and friends.
Like George I eventually came to appreciate the emotionally deprived Hartley.
Fast forward to the wedding! I was in raptures over George's wedding dress and her moments of feisty independence, a gauntlet thrown down in the face of the ton who decried her and worse when her forthcoming marriage to a prize catch had been announced--much to her horror, particularly as she didn't want to get married. Georgiana had had a curious upbring.
BTW I loved Aunt Dottie and simultaneously despised and pitied Aunt Agatha.
Hartley's narcissistic mother is in a self centered cage all of her own making. Like Hartley I abhorred her shallowness and self serving actions.
Of course there's the usual conglomeration of beloved animals that an original like George would have. Indeed, Hartley's original contact with George builds around her horse. And then just as an HEA ending was in the offing for George and Hartley, another tangled problem comes to light.
A nice touch are the Jane Austen chapter heading, an enlightening commentary on what is to come.
A rather tantalizing addition to this Marriage of Convenience series.

A Berkley Group ARC via NetGalley ( )
  eyes.2c | May 21, 2020 |
Very good book. Even though it is the fourth in the series, it works fine as a stand-alone, with enough backstory provided so that I wasn't lost. However, I will go back and read the earlier books because I want the whole story. In the previous book, the Duke of Everingham was left at the altar by Rose Rutherford when her first husband turned up alive. The duke is in no hurry to try again, except for the fact that he is now the quarry of every unmarried woman in London. He is appalled when his godmother suggests Georgiana Rutherford, the niece of his former fiancée. That is until a close encounter with her stirs his interest.

George has no interest in getting married and has made that clear to the men who have pursued her. She is determined to maintain her independence and live life on her own terms. George has an uphill battle in front of her as she tries to convince her great-aunt that she is serious, especially when it comes to the duke.

The duke, known to his friends as Hart, is wealthy and arrogant. When he wants something, he succeeds in getting it. His first real encounter with George is when he sees her riding her stallion and decides he must have it. I laughed out loud at his stunned disbelief at her refusal. In-person discussions aren't any more successful. However, it does succeed in arousing his interest, as she is the only female he's encountered who doesn't bore him to tears. With her stated interest in living in the country with her horses and dogs, she would be perfect for him. He ignores her comments about not wanting to marry anyone. In his experience, women always have hidden motives. He doesn't believe that she's not interested in him - he's a duke! And rich!

The development of the relationship between George and Hart is a tempestuous one. George doesn't like him at all at the beginning. She thought he was a cold fish when he was engaged to Rose. His superior attitude grates on her nerves, and George calls him out on it often. Hart wholeheartedly believes that she is playing games with him, pretending disinterest when she has every intention of accepting his suit. A spontaneous kiss shocks them both with the feelings it stirs up. Hart is disturbed by his loss of control but is sure that it is a temporary condition. George is just plain confused about why she forgets everything else when he kisses her. Her discussion with her Aunt Dottie about those feelings is a riot. Determined to have his way, Hart arranges a situation that compromises her, thus trapping her into marriage. George is rightfully furious and lets him know it. She's ready to stick to her guns until a third party gets involved.

Having given her word, George is ready to move ahead. I loved the part describing the marriage settlements and Hart getting a different view of her. There is also a fantastic scene where George points out Hart's hypocrisy in how he set her up. It was an eye-opening moment for him. I liked that he was man enough to accept the truth and apologize for his actions. He still had a bit of learning though, as it was George's reputation that suffered because of them. It took a comment from a friend for Hart to realize what George was going through, and he went all out to make up for it. George doesn't exactly sit back and suffer in silence either. Though done in a moment of temper and disgust, she makes a very bold decision regarding her wedding. Hart won me over entirely with his support and understanding at the ceremony, and with the stop they made between the wedding itself and the wedding breakfast.

After the wedding, Hart and George finally have some time to truly get to know each other. There is still some push and pull as Hart adjusts to George's way of doing things. There is a bit of trouble at the end involving Hart's ward, who is briefly mentioned at the beginning. I liked how George and Hart worked together and found a solution that worked for everyone. There was a brief misunderstanding at the end that could have sent their marriage down the wrong path. Fortunately, Hart was able to get past his pride and tell George how he felt. I loved seeing everyone together in the epilogue. ( )
  scoutmomskf | May 15, 2020 |
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Agatha, Lady Salter tapped her foot impatiently and glanced a the ormolu cock on the mantelpiece.
"I Georgiana Mary Rutherford, take thee Redmond Jasper Harley to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to rub, cherish, and to olé, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth."
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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.
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