As a fan of historical romances I'm thrilled to end the week with a romance featuring opposites attracting. Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of What the Duke Wants by Amy Quinton, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about it by visiting the other readers hosting this tour. Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a handcrafted necklace with a heart-shaped pendant too!
Upstanding duke desperately seeks accident-prone wife from trade…
England 1814: Miss Grace (ha!) Radclyffe is an oftentimes hilariously clumsy, 20-year-old orphan biding her time living with her uncle until she is old enough to come into her small inheritance. Much to her aunt’s chagrin, she isn’t: reserved (not with her shocking! tendency to befriend the servants), sophisticated (highly overrated), or graceful (she once flung her dinner into a duke’s face). But she is: practical and in love… maybe… perhaps… possibly…
The Duke of Stonebridge is an agent for the Crown with a tragic past. His father died mysteriously when he was 12 years old amid speculation that the old duke was ‘involved’ with another man. He must restore his family name, but on the eve of his engagement to the perfect debutante, he meets his betrothed’s cousin, and his world is turned inside out… No matter, he is always: logical (men who follow their hearts are foolish) and reserved (his private life is nobody’s business but his own). And he isn’t: impulsive or in love… maybe… perhaps… possibly…
Can he have what he wants and restore his name? Can she trust him to be the man she needs?
“Grace, I’m sorry.”
He paused and held her gaze. For a moment, Grace allowed herself to stand there, locked in his sights. Despite her anger over his earlier implications, she undeniably longed for things that could never be. She was attracted to this man on a basic, animal level. It didn’t matter that society frowned at their differing classes. His head drew nearer, and for a fleeting moment, she was confident he would kiss her, and oh, how she wanted it. But she was consciously aware that it would be a mistake. He was nearly betrothed to her cousin, and though her cousin and she were not friends, Grace would never betray her family that way, especially with a man she barely knew. It was wrong.
So before their lips could meet, Grace ducked under his arm and darted out the library door.
Stonebridge remained completely still. He closed his eyes as he tried to hold on to her lingering scent and the image of her staring up at him with so much intensity—with desire in her eyes. Then, ever so slowly, he leaned his head against the books where only moments before she had stood within his arms, within his reach. His heart still beat erratically.
He had nearly kissed her. And what a mess that would have been. And yet, he was completely undone, for it wasn’t he who had stopped it from happening.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
As a fan of historical romances I love discovering new authors able to breathe fresh air into the genre and with this debut work there's much that makes it memorable. From its delightful heroine to its sensual banter to a secondary character who's left me panting for the next installment I found this an enjoyable journey.
Grace is unlike most women of the time. Class distinction doesn't concern her, she aspires to design fashions and own her own shop when she comes of age, and she's incredibly clumsy but is able to laugh it off with a smile. In a nutshell, Grace is a delightful heroine who's strong-willed and intelligent. Though her vernacular seemed almost too modern her words and deeds often brought a smile to my face. She's immensely likable and friends with everyone, even amongst the servants, and her sunny disposition was a wonderful dichotomy to the nastiness of the relatives she's living with. From the moment she sees the dour countenance of Ambrose she fell for him despite their class differences and fought her heart and mind every step of the way. It's a difficult journey to reach her HEA as loyalty to her family has her denying what her heart truly wants as does a Duke who purposely hurts her as he too fights his attraction.
Since the day his father was murdered with his reputation torn to shreds Ambrose has felt the weight of the world on his shoulders. Desperate to clear his family's name he's walked the straight and narrow which has hardened his heart and turned his personality overly serious. Deciding that he's ready to marry, and to conceal the fact that he's looking into his father's murder, leads him to Beatryce and her family who he's known since he was younger. She'll make the perfect wife with her unquestionable manners and demeanor, but it's her cousin Grace who captivates him. From their memorable first meeting in a mud puddle to their clandestine meetings, Ambrose knows their match will mar his family's name but her joy in living slowly thaws his heart. Ambrose is a self-assured man with few friends he trusts, he's a bit cold and rude at times, but you can't help rooting for him and Grace. She makes him a better man and in return I wish he had treated her better throughout the story. When pushing her away he acted with cruelty, he immediately believed the lies her relatives told about her, and used their class differences against her. Through her eyes, and because of her forgiving nature, I too ultimately forgave him.
My rating for this is a B.
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Amy Quinton is an author and full time mom living in Summerville, SC. She enjoys writing (and reading!) sexy, historical romances. She lives with her English husband, two boys, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to go camping, hiking, and canoeing/kayaking… And did she mention reading? When she’s not reading, cleaning, or traveling, she likes to make jewelry, sew, knit, and crochet (Yay for Ravelry!).
Amy has lived in or around the Charleston, SC area her entire life. When she’s not home, at the beach (weather permitting), or camping in and around the Great Smoky Mountains (Check out Mile High Campground and Devils Fork State Park!), she loves to visit the United Kingdom. She loves the history, the culture, and the people – hence her love for Scottish and Regency Romances. She especially loves to visit the Isle of Skye – in the Highlands of Scotland; where the scenery is both rugged and breathtaking.
Amy graduated from the College of Charleston, a liberal arts college located in beautiful, historic Charleston, SC. She worked 10 years in the computer industry as a software designer before becoming a full time mom and now, a full time novelist.
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