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Book CoverSybil’s review of The Inconvenient Duchess by Christine Merrill
Regency Historical Romance published by Harlequin Historical

Christine Merrill is a new to me HH author and even though The Inconvenient Duchess was a Regency novel I picked it up. Has anyone else read it? My copy is screwed up. Letters are missing at the end of some words and in places the end of sentences are gone. Really it isn’t enough to make the book unreadable but it is annoying.

Lady Miranda Grey was raised by a broken man who lost everything and a whore. Well by this point ex-whore, who blackmails a woman on her death bed (ex-school chum) into arranging a meeting between Miranda and soon to be dead woman’s sons. One of those sons just happens to be a Duke.

A Duke. You know the guy most of those marriage mart chits would happily open a vein to wed. Lady Miranda shows up at the house, alone, after walking in the rain with a letter of introduction from her guardian ‘Lady Cecily’ (you know the whore) only to find out that the mother is dead and the Duke of Haughleigh might as well be.

I mentioned the alone part right? So now she is stuck, alone, with two rakes (we know they are rakes cuz they tell us so). Whatever is a girl to do?

All in all this book should be F material but it works. Miranda does some pretty TSTL things for a woman who has ‘worked’, been exposed to real life and has a brain in her head. The Duke and Miranda spend too much time apart in the beginning so when he finds out the truth of her up bringing, really he has no reason to keep her. When you add in how he went about ‘marrying her’ it isn’t really believable he would care much about her.

And the little weasel St. John shouldn’t be around near as much as he is. The brother should have kept a better eye on him and Miranda’s background should have made it impossible for her to not see he was up to no good.

But I was entertained, kept turning the pages and wanted to know what happened next. Maybe it had to do with the fact that the plot wasn’t your typical regency. Or that the characters were charming and well fleshed out. Miranda isn’t your perfect, beautiful diamond and Marcus isn’t the over the top alpha or doormat beta. You have two people who have been dealt some shitty cards and are making the best play out of it they can.

I enjoyed The Inconvenient Duchess and would recommend it if you are in the mood for a quick Regency read. But if you are a hard case for following the ‘regency rules’ you prolly want to skip it. As for me, I really want to read the next book, An Unladylike Offer (St. John’s book).

Sybil sweet and lightGrade: B-

Compromised and wedded on the same day, Lady Miranda was fast finding married life not to her taste. A decaying manor and a secretive husband were hardly the stuff of girlish dreams. Yet every time she looked at dark, brooding Marcus Radwell, Duke of Haughleigh, she felt inexplicably compelled—and determined—to make their marriage real!

You can read an excerpt here and another here.