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.
Title: Much Ado About Dutton
Author: Claudia Dain
Series: More Courtesan Chronicles #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Aspendawn Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes
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.