A Duchess in Name

Amanda Weaver
A Duchess in Name
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Carina Press
Release Date
January 2016
Book 1 of The Grantham Girls
Historical Romance

Victoria Carson never expected love. An American heiress and graduate of Lady Grantham's finishing school, she's been groomed since birth to marry an English titleóthe grander the better. So when the man chosen for her, the forbidding Earl of Dunnley, seems to hate her on sight, she understands that it can't matter. Love can have no place in this arrangement.

Andrew Hargrave has little use for his title and even less for his cold, disinterested parents. Determined to make his own way, he's devoted to his life in Italy working as an archaeologist. Until the collapse of his family's fortune drags him back to England to a marriage he never wanted and a woman he doesn't care to know.

Wild attraction is an unwanted complication for them both, though it forms the most fragile of bonds. Their marriage of convenience isn't so intolerable after allóbut it may not be enough when the deception that bound them is finally revealed.

Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
Dec 22, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
85 people found the following review helpful
A DUCHESS IN NAME is the perfect blend of angsty historical drama, super sexy encounters and characters that make you feel personally affronted by their duplicity.

American heiress Victoria Carson has been groomed from an early age to marry a titled Englishman, despite the fact that she longs only for the true love and family fairy tale. She has little hope of actually desiring the man she's to be shackled to, until she lays eyes on her betrothed.

Earl of Dunnley and future Duke of Waring Andrew Hargrave has no desire to be strapped down to a woman, especially to save the family that ridiculed and dismissed him his whole life. He has his archaeology, and wants nothing more than to be left alone to enjoy his craft and let his destitute father rot. If it weren't for his sisters' well-being, that's exactly what he would do. When he lays eyes on Victoria, he wonders if she might be an ally, but the truth of her deceptive family makes him reel.

Refusing to give her the satisfaction of seeing his misery, Andrew returns to Italy the day after his wedding, only to return once in more than a year. But something of what he thinks he knows of Victoria simply isn't ringing true, and when he returns to her, he finds out just how wrong he was. Can he convince her to give their marriage a real chance or will she remain just a duchess in name only?

The first in The Grantham Girls series, A DUCHESS IN NAME, was a surprisingly good book! Their initial meeting had a ton of chemistry, and it flared to life whenever Andrew deemed it necessary to return home. I hated that he left her for so long, and that his "friendship" with Luciana picked up right where they left off before his marriage. I felt like he had to work to charm me back as well as Victoria, and I'm glad she stood firm for as long as she did once he came back to her.

For her part, Victoria was an excellent character. She started off naÔve and basically just arm candy, but quickly found her backbone and inner strength during Andrew's prolonged absences. She became fierce and intelligent and capable in her own right, something she'd never been allowed to be under her parents' guidance. The sex scenes were sleek and seductive and beautifully erotic, a lovely addition to an all around excellent read. And I also really enjoyed the late 1800's timeframe, as I don't typically get to read a lot from that particular era. A historical with telephones and indoor plumbing but with the Ton as well was very interesting setting, and one I'm looking forward to reading more about in future books in this series.

Bottom Line: This book was well written, sharp and nicely paced, with terrific character development. Fans of historical and contemporary romance will enjoy this one!
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