Much Ado About Dutton by Claudia Dain

Book Review: 

What a clever story that incorporates some characters and alludes to events from earlier works in The Courtesan Chronicles.  A late regency story, the details and world building are all appropriate and incorporate the societal norms of the time while still managing to keep the story enjoyable for readers with more modern sensibilities.

The banter between the characters, and their obvious familiarity with one another is deliciously penned and provides readers with several moments of laughter, as well as providing tension that enhances character connections.  Other characters weave into the story in enjoyable ways, allowing the readers familiar with the series to catch up with their lives, and providing those unfamiliar with a taste of the stories that came before, while not being overly distracting or difficult to understand.

Ann is delightful and strong, with a sense of herself that is not hampered by her rather lowly beginnings.  As the daughter of a courtesan, her fate would normally leave her out of society: her marriage improved her station, and while tongues may wag her position as a widow is solid and acceptable.

Dutton is a son of a titled man, although his father was a rogue and rather distasteful, he has worked hard to redeem himself in society’s eyes.  While he often is defensive and believing that people will often prejudge him because of his father, he is growing up and making efforts to be an honourable man.

With some truly striking and clever moments as the two battle for supremacy in the relationship as they deny their attractions, the story runs from one moment to the next without letting up: giving the reader a real page turner.  Add in some heartfelt moments of soul-bearing and reconciliation and this story is a wonderful read.  I’m now curious about the books in The Courtesan Chronicles, and think that readers of that series will be more than pleased with this installments.

Much Ado About Dutton by Claudia Dain

Title: Much Ado About Dutton
Author: Claudia Dain
Series: More Courtesan Chronicles #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Aspendawn Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 262
Rated: four-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon iTunes
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The Marquis of Dutton didn't pay the slightest bit of attention to Anne Warren until he found out that she was the daughter of a courtesan. His careless, confident, ill-considered pursuit of her began upon that lurid foundation.

Anne had been smitten by the dashing Lord Dutton from her first encounter with him. But to be pursued because her mother was a woman of the demi-monde? No. That was unacceptable. Anne was not going to make the mistakes her mother had made, each decision taking her further down the social ladder. Anne meant to improve her station, not hobble it with an amorous encounter with the nearly irresistible Lord Dutton.

Over the course of the London Season of 1802, Dutton pursued and lost Anne again and again. He became something of a drunken sot about it all, even a laughingstock. When Anne married Lord Staverton, his fall was complete. Anne married wisely, and Dutton was befuddled by it.

Two years later, in the 1804 Season, Anne is a widow and Dutton is sober. Lady Staverton and Lord Dutton, both available and both still interested, continue the seductive dance they began when she was his social inferior. She is no longer his inferior, and because of that, the tables have turned and Dutton is at her mercy.

Or perhaps Anne is at Dutton's mercy.

It all depends upon whom you ask.

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.

About Claudia Dain

It was while writing a descriptive essay in seventh grade English (that was the assignment, to write a 'descriptive essay') that Claudia first fell in love. With descriptive essays. Boys being what they are in seventh grade, there was hardly much choice.
By her ninth grade year, Claudia was spending hours each week in her bedroom writing descriptive essays that heavily featured older boys (eleventh grade). She also practiced her kissing technique on a pole lamp next to her bed. It was less than satisfactory, but the writing was fun.

She attended the University of Southern California as an English major. She'd mastered kissing by this time and writing, strangely enough, was still fun. 'Strangely' because while it had become obvious to her that almost everyone enjoyed kissing, it was equally obvious that very few people enjoyed writing. This was as peculiar to her as, well, not enjoying kissing.

Clearly, something had to be done. The idea of combining kissing and writing seemed the obvious course of action. While Claudia does not claim to have invented the romance novel, she certainly has a lot of fun describing kisses and inventing men to bestow them upon. And not a one of her heroes looks remotely like a pole lamp. (And don't act like one either.)

Claudia was first published in 2000, is a two-time Rita finalist, and a USA Today Bestselling author. Which just goes to prove that you can make a career out of kissing and writing about it.

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