Title: The Duke's Disaster
Noah Winters, Earl of Anselm, spent months sorting and courting the year's crop of debutantes in search of an ideal bride. When the sweet, biddable young thing he selected accepts another's proposal, Noah decides to court her companion instead.
Thea Collins, though, is anything but biddable. She has learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted, especially the handsome ones. When she reluctantly accepts, Noah rushes Thea to the altar before she can reveal her deepest secret. Can she finally move on from her past, or will it come back to haunt her?
Author: Grace Burrows
Series: True Gentlemen
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: Tremaine's True Love, Daniel's True Desire
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca Source: Publisher
Published: April 7, 2015
Genres: Regency Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Ah the young aristocrat. They come in many flavors. There are the young men who think that, because they are sons of titled gentlemen, they are entitled . . . They have no conscious, and/or often, no morals. Sad young men really. Then there are the younger sons. Some go out on their own and make something of their lives. Others live off the generosity of the family and are really not much good for anything but maybe “evening the numbers.” Then there are the young men who find themselves encumbered the title at much too young an age. Some are overwhelmed and fall into bad habits. Others become overly responsible, giving up much of themselves for their family and estates.
Let’s not forget the young ladies. Unfortunately, they don’t have near as many options as the young men. A young lady of title is expected to marry and be “pure” on her wedding night. If for whatever reason she does not marry, than it is service for her – companion, governess, and courtesan. Not very many choices and the first two can, and often do, lead to the last one whether one chooses or not.
Unfortunately, not only do young ladies not have many options, but they are ripe for unfounded gossip. For the young lady cannot have even a whisper of scandal about her or she can become “ruined.” The young men are just considered “sowing their wild oats.” Completely unfair but so regency.
A good many of the above described characterizations make the cast of this story. Noah Winters, Earl of Anselm is one of the young men to have come into his title at too young an age. To make his circumstance even more complicated, his family is rift with the entitled, good for nothing younger sons, and those with no morals. But, in spite of all that, he overcame. He raised his siblings to become upstanding, contributing citizens of society. Found appropriate husbands for all three of his sisters. Is working hard to make sure his youngest brother is finding his proper way in the world. He is also taking responsibility of his uncle’s “by blows” and raising them in his house, as his own. A true aristocratic Gentleman. Even if he does come across at first as rather a bad tempered curmudgeon. One just has to take their time to look beneath the bad temper and find the heart of gold.
Enter Lady Araminthea Collins, daughter of the late Earl of Grantley. The current Earl, her brother, was one of those who came into the title too young, was overwhelmed and fell into bad habits causing some hardships and unpleasant choses to be made by his sister, Thea. Thea decided to go into service. She is a companion. That is where Anselm meets her. He is courting her charge, one Lady Marliss Hallowell. Marliss has the good sense to know Anselm isn’t for her and has chosen someone else, hence leaving Anselm without a bride and soon, Thea without a job. Anselm, in his infinite aristocratic wisdom, thinks they will suit and rushes Thea into marriage.
This is one of those stories that starts with the wedding, then the couple get to know each other. The ups and downs of a sudden marriage like this were entertaining. I fell in love with Noah. He brought tea to Thea, in bed, every morning. Granted, he usually drank half of it himself, but it is the thought. It was rather sweet and I loved how they really got to know each other over their morning tea.
This was such a wonderful romance. Once he got over himself, and really started to see Thea, Noah went out of his way to make Thea feel safe, secure, and yes, finally loved. *sigh*
I thoroughly enjoyed how Ms Burrows uses so many of the different characterizations of the young aristocrat in her story. They were all here contributing to the angst, conflict and ultimate happy ending of this story. It was very well done.
The story also stayed true to the era in its use of terminology. I had to grin at some places. Although there was a few sex scenes in this story, there were really quite tasteful and sweet. None of those “nasty” words that some people are so up in arms about but, still hot. The bedroom door was not kept shut. They had *gasp* naked sex and slept in the same bed. But, it was sweet and oh so sigh worthy.
This is a wonderful, good, old fashion, regency romance. Anyone who loves regency romance will love this. I know I did!
The Duke and Duchess are having a rocky start to their marriage, also to their day…
“Your tea, Duchess.”
Noah had woken up beside his wife—again, despite all plans to the contrary—creating another first for him. Thea had risen several times during the night to tend to herself. He hadn’t realized that monthly courses caused a woman’s rest to be interrupted.
Crashingly bad planning, for a lady’s sleep to be disturbed when she most needed rest.
“You’re not about to steal my tea?” Thea held out the cup, her gaze shy as she sat propped against the headboard.
“Where’s the fun in stealing what’s freely offered?” Noah settled in beside her and filched a bite of her cinnamon toast. “Would you rather have chocolate this morning?”
“You’re”— Noah waved a hand in the direction of her middle—“indisposed.”
“I am not indisposed.” Thea set her teacup down with a little clink. “The discomfort has passed, as it always does. You needn’t be concerned.”
“I am not concerned, Thea.” Not greatly concerned, now that she’d stopped ordering him to go away and was ready for a proper spat. “I am attempting in my bumbling way to dote. You will allow it.”
Drat. He’d given another order.
“You couldn’t bumble if one gave you written instructions, Anselm,” Thea said, looking a little less peaked for having run up her flags. “That was my toast you appropriated.”
“Appropriation is what happens when one’s wife can’t appreciate a little doting. You’re being stingy with the tea, just as you were stingy with the covers. How long does this indisposition last?”
Her chin came up. “I am the Duchess of Anselm. I am not stingy with anything, but you are a very presuming husband.”
“Doting.” Noah took Thea’s free hand to kiss her knuckles— lest she mistake his point. “Also in need of my duchess’s guidance on this one marital matter.”
“This is so personal.” Thea’s gaze was on their joined hands— for Noah would not have her haring off in a fit of mortification. “I didn’t think you’d be a personal sort of husband. You were supposed to appear in my dressing-room doorway a few nights a month, silently take a few marital liberties, and then leave me in peace. We’d trade sections of the Times over breakfast the next morning.”
“Prosaic.” Boring and exactly what Noah himself had envisioned. “Hard to see any doting going on, though.”
“Husband?” Thea’s tone was hesitant. “Thank you, for keeping me company last night. I would not have known how to ask.”
“I suppose that’s the definition of doting.” Noah lingered at the cart to assemble a plate. “It’s the little things you can’t bring yourself to ask for, that an attentive spouse will enjoy providing to you. Bacon or ham?”
“A little of both, please.”
“I’m a trifle indisposed. I need the sustenance.”
Noah piled both ham and bacon on Thea’s plate, and stole better than half of it, because he needed the sustenance too.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21996394-the-duke-s-disaster
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1xmRtvf
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. The Heir was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish won Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 from RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was a PW Best Book of 2012. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.
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