Today I have a new Victorian Historical Romance from author Amanda Weaver. In this first book in The Grantham Girls Series, we meet American heiresses fresh out of a British Finishing School. Now available, you can read my review below, check out the tour stops to see what others thought of the title and be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win a $30 Amazon Gift Card from Amanda Weaver. But first ….
A Duchess In Name
The first in a new series, Amanda Weaver combines the “Golden Age” American heiresses in the marriage game in London. Back with the influx of wealth and power in the states, nothing said “I have arrived” then securing a titled groom for your daughter (or daughters). Entitled homes are notoriously expensive to maintain, and the flagging British economy meant that while marrying for advantage (and dowry) was commonplace for the male aristos, real wealth in the UK was diminishing and they had to expand their search. From purely mercenary motivations to small moments of love and true connection all the way through to the later years when American debs were captivating the boys with beauty, wit and charm, the stories are never-ending.
Weaver introduces us to Victoria, a recent graduate of Lady Grantham’s Finishing school: destined to provide the polish and skills that any wife of a peer would need. From a tumultuous relationship with her mother, and little to no say in her future, Vic is expected a proposal as the season ends. But, an arrangement is agreed upon by her parents, and she is finding herself the unwilling betrothed of the unexpected newly titled Earl of Dunnley, Andrew. A second son from the wrong side of the blanket, he’s freely followed his own interests and passions, and spent years abroad, only to be recalled and informed of the distasteful union.
These two instantly assumed the worst of one another, and leaving Vic to fend for herself at the country estate was a perfect set up to show her growth and give him time to cool down. From a slow start providing background that does fuel all to come, Victoria is growing up and becoming a true peer’s wife and estate manager, much to Andrew’s surprise. He doesn’t want to find her admirable or desirable, but her passion, honesty and determination win the day. Told in alternating POV, we see the gradual sullen acceptance turn to regard and later love as these two come to make a marriage out of seeming incompatibility.
Secondary characters, insets of daily struggles and a clear presentation of expectations versus desires for both Andrew and Victoria add layers of unexpected and wholly welcome depth to the story. Laden with history, background and some truly clever moments that have you desperately seeking a happy ending for Victoria, this is a story to experience and savor, a truly wonderful start to a new series.
Title: A Duchess in Name
Author: Amanda Weaver
Series: The Grantham Girls #1
Also in this series: A Common Scanda
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Carina Press
Published on: 18 January, 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour
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 title—the 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 all—but it may not be enough when the deception that bound them is finally revealed.
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A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.