Book Review

‘The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower’ by Erica Ridley

tedw erSTORY: Oliver York returns from war to find his father dead, his finances in arrears, and himself the new Earl of Carlisle. If he doesn’t marry an heiress—and fast!—he and his tenants are going to be pitching tents down by the Thames. He definitely shouldn’t be trading kisses with a penniless debutante… no matter how captivating she is!

Miss Grace Halton is in England just long enough to satisfy the terms of her dowry. But a marriage of convenience isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. Back in America, her ailing mother needs medicine only Grace’s dowry can afford. Which means the dashing earl she can’t get out of her mind is the one man she can’t let into her heart.

REVIEW: January 1816, London

Lord Oliver York, now the Earl of Carlisle, has returned from three years spent at war and must now face London soirees.  When he finds that his late father has left the family coffers nearly empty, he realizes that he must find a wealthy bride.  Having lost many of his friends in the war, he still feels guilt over it all.  He is doing all he can to care for his friend, Xavier Grey, who remains in a near-catatonic state.

Miss Grace Halton is a beautiful American girl with black hair and green eyes.  She has come from Pennsylvania to stay with her rich English grandparents while she searches for a wealthy husband.  Her mother is ill and still in America.  Her grandparents will not do anything to help their daughter because she defied them by running away to America.  However, they have agreed to give Grace a small dowry when she marries.  Grace’s plan is to marry a man, take the dowry back to America and use it to get medical care for her mother.  Once she knows her mother is well, she will return to England and her husband.  Since Grace is American and it is known that her grandparents’ money has come from trade, she is looked down upon by most of her prospective suitors.  The fops ogle her and feel she only good for a “tup.”

When Oliver and Grace meet at a dance, they are both intrigued by the other and find themselves being honest with one another as to their personal circumstances.  As they continue to meet at dances, Grace realizes that she is not interested in any of the other men.  They all come across as very dull.

Oliver has been forced to sell most of the art work and furnishings in his home.  However, there is a 500-year-old family owned portrait of The Black Prince, a.k.a., Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Prince of Aquitaine.  It is a treasure and he hopes to not have to part with it.  However, it is quickly coming to that with his need for money.

Grace is watched very closely by her mean Grandmother Mayer.  The woman does not believe that her daughter is really ill.  She thinks it is just a scheme to take some of their money back to her.  However, Grace’s grandparents do want Grace to become the toast of the ton and have spared no expense to dress her beautifully.

When Grace and Oliver are caught kissing in the library while attending a dance, Oliver immediately declares that they are betrothed.

Will they marry and, if so, how will Oliver manage to support her?  Will Grace take the small dowry promised by her grandparents and give it to her mother?  As this novel as yet been published, I have tried to add teasers about the plot without giving away any spoilers.  There is so much more of this terrific story that I have omitted so that I just “whet the appetite” of prospective readers.

I enjoyed this first novel of Erica’s new series (The Duke’s of War – Book One) and look forward to reading more.

This book is scheduled for publication on December 1, 2014.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher


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