It’s four days until pay day and for all intents and purposes, I am as broke as California; does this stop me from reading, of course not. I just pull out my kindle and peruse the free books they have on offering and eventually I will find one worth reading. The “ramen noodle book” of choice this time is The Inconvenient Duchessby Christine Merrill.
This novel is about the repercussions of machinations the dying Duchess of Haughleigh has crafted over the years. She has done many wrong in her life including her sons; however, it is an old school friend that has forced her to face her soul in her remaining days. Marcus, the Duke of Haughleigh has promised to meet a girl whose governesses the Duchess had done some vague wrong to. The Duchess dies and the promise is all but forgotten until one rainy night Miranda shows up at his door dragging her suit case behind her.
Miranda has been sent to the Duke’s residence without a maid and the admonishment to keep her secrets close to her heart. She is to marry either the Duke, his brother or some other town worthy to keep her safe from a life unbefitting a lady. By showing up unescorted she has forced the Duke’s hand into marriage saving what little of her reputation was left.
This story has the usually miscommunications; in this case fueled by the Duke’s younger brother St. John. After the marriage Marcus leaves to investigate his new wife and the wrong done to her governess by his mother. While gone St. John begins to plant seeds of doubt and seduction into Miranda. Marcus comes home, St. John leaves and all is well with the world. The new couple begin to see their marriage as the start of their lives instead of the end of it. Of course, their new love is challenged when they meet St. John one last time.
This book was original published in 2006 and is Ms Merrill’s first novel. To say this novel is wonderful would be a lie but for a free book it was pretty good. Throughout this book, Miranda is referred to as “Lady Miranda” when her father was only a Sir; also St. John is never given the courtesy title of Lord. This is a personal pet peeve of mine, Ms.Merrill and her editor aught to know the correct title usage when writting a Regency romance considering this book is a Harlequin Historical romance. However, I can look past that and give it a 4 out of 5 simply for the fact that it is free and a decent read. Hope you enjoy!!