The Reluctant Duchess

ReluctantDuchess_mck.inddBook Review: The Reluctant Duchess

Author: Roseanna M. White

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Amazon’s description of The Reluctant Duchess:

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough–not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when Rowena’s father tries to trap Brice into marrying his daughter, Brice makes a surprising decision.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to marry a notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.


            Mystery, deep hurts, and a promise of renewal in more ways than one have colored this series by Roseanna M. White. Despite dealing with college finals, this was one book that was very difficult to walk away from. The Reluctant Duchess is a little different, because a lot of the romance takes place after the marriage. I loved how Roseanna showed Brice as a flawed person, who is sometimes careless in his flirtation, yet he had many redeeming qualities. His steadfast love of Rowena was a hazy, imperfect picture of how Christ loves us unconditionally when we are saved. Which leads me to another part of the book I liked: Brice and Rowena had to puzzle through what love is. Is it an emotion? A physical attraction? A nebulous idea? They had to figure that out on their own, realizing that love is a commitment, and is proved when the other person is unlovable. Rowena was also an intriguing character. At first I wasn’t sure if I would like her, but she quickly showed her backbone, and though she dealt with deep hurts, I loved how Roseanna was able to change her character through the book in a way that wasn’t rushed, but realistic.

If you enjoy Downton Abbey, you may want to take a look at The Reluctant Duchess. It has some of the same elements, a mystery, a complicated and varied cast of characters, and romance. The Reluctant Duchess would be in the time period just prior to the start of that television series. However, Roseanna also wove in a strong faith in Jesus through the book in a way that neither preaches nor is heavy-handed.

About the Author

Biography from Amazon’s website: Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna has a slew of historical novels available, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at

I was given a review copy of The Reluctant Duchess from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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