Friday, July 26, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of THE RELUCTANT DUCHESS, a Brides of St. Ives novel by Jane Goodger

Greetings my darling readers, I know I’ve been remiss in providing you reviews of good reads this past year and I apologize. Life has a hold on me which does not allow me much reading time. I have tried to make up for that in publishing my own good reads for you and I hope you’ve given them a try. So to make up for my neglect, I will be offering up guest reviews for you enjoy. I hope to be back reviewing for you soon but in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy my dear friend, Connie Fischer’s reviews to guide you to good reads. Enjoy and Happy Reading!

I present to you a guest review of THE RELUCTANT DUCHESS, a Brides of St. Ives novel by Jane Goodger, published July 9, 2019.


The charming seaside town of St. Ives is hard to leave—but to save her family from ruin, one young woman must face a frightening unknown...

Orphaned young, Oliver Sterling, eleventh duke of Kendal, lives in seclusion in his massive home, Horncliffe Manor. Convinced since childhood that he is monstrous, his only company is his guardian, Mr. Winters—a man who perpetuates Oliver’s self-loathing. Still, Oliver is only human. One day, he sees a beautiful young woman in a painting titled “St. Ives Girl.” Captivated, he asks Mr. Winters to find her, marry her by proxy, and bring her back as his bride...

Rebecca Kane is shocked that her squire father has agreed to marry her off to a duke in exchange for payment of his gambling debts. But with no option, she submits. Rebecca fears this husband she has never seen in the light of day—yet in the marriage bed, her husband is kind and gentle. And though they remain in darkness, she detects nothing odd about him. She wonders what he is hiding and soon finds there are more mysteries to uncover—about the unsettling noises coming from deep within the manor, about Mr. Winters, and about love—of oneself and one’s beloved...


Connie’s Review:


Oliver Sterling, eleventh Duke of Kendal, Horncliffe Manor, is age 28. He has been raised in isolation by Philip Winters. He had been born with a freakish appearance and is known as The Ghost Duke. When his parents first saw him, they did not want him around and thus, sent him to Winters be raised.

Oliver enjoys art and is taken by a girl in a painting. He demands that Winters find her because he wants to marry her. Winters is instructed to have their marriage done by proxy and then bring her to Horncliffe.

Winters goes to Rachel’s home and offers for her to marry the Duke via proxy. It appears that Rachel’s father is in debt for gambling making the family members have to do without. Winters says that if Rachel marries the Duke that the gambling debt owed him will be forgiven. In addition, her father promises to never gamble again. It repulses Winters to have to do this because he considers Rachel just a commoner and now she will become a Duchess. He confesses his true feelings to Rachel as they travel through the cold to Horncliffe.

When Rachel finally meets Oliver, she is not repulsed at all for she understands his affliction. As they get to know one another more, will Rachel be able to bring Oliver out of his shell and back into the light?

I really loved this book. Rachel and Oliver are perfect for one another. Rachel is a strong and loving woman with compassion galore and lots of love for her new husband. The cruelty to which Oliver has been treated is appalling and she wants him to be a part of the world again. But, with her commoner background, it is a struggle for her to keep up. Ah - but there’s more and Mr. Winters is hiding some vicious secrets. There is lots in this story and I hope readers will enjoy it as much as I did.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

THE RELUCTANT DUCHESS, a Brides of St. Ives novel by Jane Goodger, Lyrical Press, available now in ebook and print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks

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