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A perfectly comfortable regency kind of read one would expect This is my first Amanda Weaver book And I have read quite a few glowing reviews about her previous works I suppose I am a harsher reader I am not just looking for a well told story I want to live and love , experience regrets and struggles I want muchfrom my stories than a comfortable nice historical romance I want to be swept off my feet I wasn t swept off my feet by Julian and Grace.The writing is very promising tho A perfectly comfortable regency kind of read one would expect This is my first Amanda Weaver book And I have read quite a few glowing reviews about her previous works I suppose I am a harsher reader I am not just looking for a well told story I want to live and love , experience regrets and struggles I want muchfrom my stories than a comfortable nice historical romance I want to be swept off my feet I wasn t swept off my feet by Julian and Grace.The writing is very promising though Had the book packedof a punch, I would have really liked the book Grace was an orphan, a viscount s daughter down on her luck Her only option was to marry well Her friends from school both were happily married and now imagine how poor Gracie was feeling Julian entered the scene, sharing one hot kiss with Grace in a dark alley not knowing each other s identity They met later and Julian became an expert on what kind of a woman Grace was and why his friend and Grace would not suit I found it extremely odd that Julian was so analytical about what would make a marriage work Yeah he had his parents unfortunate example to learn from Still, I thought Julian s interest in what would make a marriage work unnatural But that s just me Grace seemed too desperate and too much of an opportunist for me I never like the plot of poor girl has to marry well to save herself from becoming a mistress It just smells too opportunistic for my romantic heart I can live with a marriage of convenience But a girl hunting for a husband, that is just bad form in my book I am certain it doesn t seem that way to others And each to his own, I have no issues if others find it enticing Since this is my review, Grace is unfortunately, subject to my standards I don t like a girl with a single mind hunting for a husband Too scheming and too calculating What makes it worse is that she was picky too Now beggars can t be choosers I like a practical mind, not a desperate, calculating mind Grace was desperate But no no no not anyone would do, because she was a viscount s daughter Julian was no peach either He thought low of Grace based on lies from someone he didn t even respect Now that s not very wise of you, my lordship Aren t we being a tad too judgmental Then Julian s obsession with Grace, I don t get it The attraction didn t convince me I was rolling my eyes and flipping through the pages, hoping to find a less clich d paragraph This book seemed unremarkable to me But I did think the writing was nice If one was in the mind for a comfortable, simple, uncomplicated regency or the likes, I didn t spend time on determining the time period read, this is a good read I received an ARC of this book from the publisher on NetGalley A Reluctant Betrothal is my favorite in the Grantham Girls series I enjoyed the first two books, but thought they were missing a certain something I don t know what that something is, but A Reluctant Betrothal has it All the promise of the first 2 books is realized in this one.Grace Godwyn, penniless orphan of a dead viscount, is running out of options She s completed finishing school with Lady Grantham and spent two seasons trying to secure a husband and her future She hasn t had any s A Reluctant Betrothal is my favorite in the Grantham Girls series I enjoyed the first two books, but thought they were missing a certain something I don t know what that something is, but A Reluctant Betrothal has it All the promise of the first 2 books is realized in this one.Grace Godwyn, penniless orphan of a dead viscount, is running out of options She s completed finishing school with Lady Grantham and spent two seasons trying to secure a husband and her future She hasn t had any success for now, she spends her time as an unofficial companion to an ailing dowager in the south of France With them in France is the dowager s grandson, Frederick Musgrave Grace knows her options are limited either she secures Frederick s affections he s not her first choice or even her fifth or sixth, but his position in society would assure her own , or return to London and the Season underway and hope to attract a suitable husband If she s unsuccessful, she ll have to go to work to support herself.But fate has other plans for Grace One evening she s out on the main plaza completing an errand for the dowager She s strolling through the crowds when she finds her attention caught by a man eating dinner alone in a nearby cafe They stare at each other until she s jostled by the crowd and he loses sight of her Not long afterwards, she finds herself in danger and is hurrying away from the plaza when she s rescued by her stranger view spoiler He pulls her aside and unable to resist their attraction to each other, they share a passionate kiss Realizing the position she s in alone in a dark alleyway, embracing a stranger Grace flees They both wrongly assume they will never see the other again hide spoiler Grace s stranger was Julian St John, Lord Knighton, who was in the south of France tying up loose ends after the death of his own less than honorable father The night after their alleyway encounter, he s surprised to see her at a musicale An old acquaintance, Frederick Musgrave, waylays Julian before Grace sees him Frederick deliberately misleads St John about his relationship to her, and St John, disgusted by what Frederick inferred, leaves before she spots him.St John departs France for London meanwhile, after Frederick propositions Grace, she realizes she cannot stay with the dowager She writes to Genevieve Grantham detailing what happened and Ms Grantham urges her to return to London for the Season and one final attempt to find a husband.As I said before, fate plays an important role in A Reluctant Betrothal After never having met before their encounter in France, the two can t seem to avoid each other once they both arrive in London It would spoil the story to say what brings them together the first time they re officially introduced suffice it to say, it s not a happy reunion Their attraction to one another is just as intense, but neither of them is free or willing to pursue a relationship together.Though they each make wrong assumptions about the other, I like that Ms Weaver doesn t rely on those misunderstandings to keep them apart Throughout the story, when they are together, they re both brutally honest even when the truth is hurtful Circumstances and fear keep them apart until a surprise twist gives them a second chance The sequence when Grace and St John first meet is wonderful subsequent scenes set in France are equally excellent A Reluctant Betrothal is deeply romantic, sexy and moving If you ve found your way to this book after reading the previous Grantham Girls books and you re not sure whether to pick this one up do it It s the best of the 3 worth your time If you haven t read any of the previous books, this book works as a stand alone I ve given this a B at AAR.Unlike the heroines of the other books in Amanda Weaver s Grantham Girls series, the heroine of A Reluctant Betrothal is not an heiress Grace Godwyn is the daughter of a viscount who gambled away his estate and fortune and who, following the death of her mother then she was four, spent her life living with her father in a succession of ever smaller, dingier homes, doing moonlit flits when he couldn t find the money to pay the rent.He died when Grace was fifteen, I ve given this a B at AAR.Unlike the heroines of the other books in Amanda Weaver s Grantham Girls series, the heroine of A Reluctant Betrothal is not an heiress Grace Godwyn is the daughter of a viscount who gambled away his estate and fortune and who, following the death of her mother then she was four, spent her life living with her father in a succession of ever smaller, dingier homes, doing moonlit flits when he couldn t find the money to pay the rent.He died when Grace was fifteen, leaving her alone and with nowhere to go, when a letter arrived informing her of the recent death of a great aunt who had set aside some money for Grace to be finished under the tutelage of Lady Grantham In this way, Grace made the acquaintance of Victoria and Amelia heroines of the previous books in the series who are now her dearest friends, and was able to spend a few years among people of her own class But Grace s lack of funds and desire to postpone matrimony for a while meant that she was never sought out and is now in the awkward position of being unable to seek paid employment that was not the done thing for a viscount s daughter while not having any other way of supporting herself.Not wishing to live off Lady Grantham s charity, Grace is managing by acting as an unpaid companion to older ladies of the ton It is not quite employment Grace attends the ladies as their guest but it at least provides a roof over her head and regular meals Her current hostess is Lady Marlbury, who is currently on holiday in the small town of Menton in the South of France, and whose son, Frederick, shows signs of being interested in Grace.Desperate to obtain security and stability, Grace decides to encourage his attentions, hoping to elicit a marriage proposal She has resigned herself to not being able to marry for love and knows that her chances of making a decent match are dwindling away But her determination is shaken by a chance encounter one evening during a festival, when she is passionately kissed by an unknown but handsome reveller to whom she feels an almost overwhelming attraction Back in the real world, however, Grace consigns the kiss to fond memory and concentrates on coaxing a proposal from Frederick Musgrave She is shocked and insulted when the proposal is not an honourable one and immediately flees back to England to seek help from Lady Grantham.Julian St John, the newly minted Earl of Knighton, is in the South of France to settle the affairs of his late, reprobate father As the son of a man who ran off with his mistress and ignored his responsibilities to family and title, Julian has spent most of his life trying not to be tarred with the same brush and takes his duties very seriously He is active in parliament and is currently the primary supporter of a project in London which is designed to provide housing for many of the city s less well off inhabitants In this, he is aided by an old friend, Lady Honor Chatham, whose father is well respected in the House and whose support is bound to go a long way towards smoothing Julian s path in politics and will help him to further erase the memories of his father s self indulgent, dissolute behaviour.When Julian returns to England, he is surprised to discover that one of his closest friends, Rupert Humphrey, is on the verge of becoming engaged to the lovely, but penniless Miss Godwyn Julian doesn t know her, but is immediately worried that his friend a sweet, generous, open hearted young man has been targeted by a fortune hunter His fears are confirmed when he is introduced to Miss Godwyn and recognises her as the young woman whom Frederick Musgrave had claimed was his mistress and the woman with whom Julian had shared a passionate kiss on a balmy evening in Menton.Julian immediately determines to separate Grace from Rupert, and at the same time tries to convince himself that the intense attraction to her he had felt in France has not come roaring back to life It s clear that the fascination is mutual, but neither Grace nor Julian is prepared to explore the possibility of a relationship Grace is committed to Rupert and while Julian is not officially spoken for, there is a general understanding in society that he will offer for Lady Honor This is rather similar to the storyline in the previous book A Common Scandal in which the hero was convinced he needed to marry someone other than the woman who was so obviously perfect for him But thankfully, the similarities end there Julian and Grace have to fight different battles to be together and the author does not rely on the initial misunderstandings between them to create dramatic tension In fact, they are refreshingly honest with each other, even when they are trading veiled insults the tension instead comes from their expectations of themselves, each other and of society Grace really wants to stand on her own two feet, but her only option if she is not to starve is marriage Julian wants to expunge society s memories of his father by being the most proper, upstanding gentlemen in existence Both of them have a hard time adjusting those expectations, but eventually realise that their love for each other is the most important thing.Ms Weaver writes very well although the occasional Americanism and modern turn of phrase do creep in and the sense of longing that she creates between her protagonists is palpable But Grace s continual assertions that Julian doesn t really want her and will eventually tire of her are presumptuous and frustrating to read, even given her instinct for self protection And while It s true that she does come across as somewhat mercenary, her reasons are completely understandable given the lack of options open to women at this period Julian is an attractive hero, in spite of his determination to believe the worst of Grace at the outset, and I do rather enjoy watching a stoic man coming unravelled when he falls in love As characters, they are both flawed and have a lot to learn about themselves, but they grow throughout the course of the book and their HEA feels well deserved.A Reluctant Betrothal is an entertaining and engaging story from one of the strongest new voices in historical romance I look forward to readingfrom Amanda Weaver I m sorry to see this series end unless maybe we can get a novella on Genevieve s surprise in the epilogue please , I ve loved each book Julian and Grace didn t work for me as much here I spent a lot of the beginning massively annoyed with both of them, though to be fair, Grace s behavior wasdue to the unfair constraints society placed on her and Julian s boneheaded outlook Once Julian got a kick in the pants by his lovely American relatives, the end of the book was everything I cou I m sorry to see this series end unless maybe we can get a novella on Genevieve s surprise in the epilogue please , I ve loved each book Julian and Grace didn t work for me as much here I spent a lot of the beginning massively annoyed with both of them, though to be fair, Grace s behavior wasdue to the unfair constraints society placed on her and Julian s boneheaded outlook Once Julian got a kick in the pants by his lovely American relatives, the end of the book was everything I could want, hot, sweet and swooningly romantic Amanda Weaver s gorgeous writing always pulls everything together seamlessly, and I look forward to whatever she has for us next A Relcutant Betrothal is the third book in the Grantham Girls series by Amanda Weaver You don t need to have read the first two books in order to understand and enjoy this one I have read them though, and it was nice to see some of the characters from those books mentioned in this one.This is the story of Grace Godwyn She is the orphaned daughter of a Viscount, but as her father gambled away everything they had before he died, she is left penniless Despite having attended Grantham s finish A Relcutant Betrothal is the third book in the Grantham Girls series by Amanda Weaver You don t need to have read the first two books in order to understand and enjoy this one I have read them though, and it was nice to see some of the characters from those books mentioned in this one.This is the story of Grace Godwyn She is the orphaned daughter of a Viscount, but as her father gambled away everything they had before he died, she is left penniless Despite having attended Grantham s finishing school, and having had two seasons in London she hasn t managed to find a husband She ends up in France as a guest of a Duchess, which pretty much means an unpaid companion One evening during a ball, Grace, annoyed by the woman s leering grandson, escapes outside where other frivolities are happening It s there that she first meets Julian St John, Lord Knighton Circumstances lead up to her being rescued by him in a dark lane outside, and not knowing who he is, and visa versa, an immediate attraction occurs and they end up sharing a very sexy kiss Realising that he shouldn t be being intimate with Grace, Julian ends the kiss and makes sure that Grace makes it safely back into the hotel.Julian is in Paris to finish up taking care of his father s affairs after the man died He disgraced the family name, and lived with a lover practically as soon as Julian, his heir, was born Julian s mother is still alive but she s lost her vitality since her husband left her Julian wants to be everything his father wasn t, and he wants to make the Knighton name one that is respected, not one that has been ruined by the things his father has done It was completely out of character for Julian to be kissing strange women in the street and it scared him He has to be all that is right and proper, again, everything that his father wasn t.After that one meeting in France, Julian goes back to London Grace has gone back there as well Lady Grantham, her friend, persuaded her to go back for one last attempt at finding a wealthy husband to look after her Two of her married friends, from the previous books want to help her, and knowing it s her last chance before she ends up having to take up a position of paid employment, Grace agrees It isn t long before she finds a man that will make her a good husband He s well off, and women don t seem to want to wed him purely because he lacks some social niceties He s a friendly, nice man though, and it isn t long before he starts courting Grace Everything points to him proposing to her So you can imagine her shock when he introduces her to his best friend Julian St John Thanks to some gossip in France, Julian thinks that Grace is a loose woman, who only wants to trap his friend into marriage He is determined to split the couple up and lets Grace know what he intends to do She doesn t understand why he is so against her, surely it can t be because of that shared kiss She finds out that he is pretty much betrothed himself, so he is as bad as she is for kissing a stranger in France.So what happens next Does Rupert find out about Grace, will her one chance of marriage and being safe again get ruined by Julian Thetime that Julian spends with Grace, theboth of them find it difficult to fight their attraction to each other Julian hates himself for it because he realises that Rupert really does think highly of Grace and wants to marry her Even as he learnsabout Grace and realises how wrong he had it about her, he could still never come between her and his best friend.The will they won t they aspect of the relationship between our hero and heroine was a definite hook to keep reading the book As a reader you get to see between the lines and know that they are meant to be together, and yet the story keeps us thinking that the wrong marriage is going to happen Perhaps Grace will marry Rupert, maybe she can be with Julian on the side Although how could he live with that, knowing what his mother went through in the same situation Can love defy the odds It certainly doesn t seem like it, but you never know I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review 3 5 Not as good as the first 2 in the series Grace is the only offspring of a disgraced now deceased viscount Utterly alone in the world and not a cent to her name, she relies on the matchmaking ability of her instructor and friend and the borrowed clothes of another friend to make a comfortable match and secure her future Julian, Lord Knighton, shared a stolen kiss with Grace on a magical night in France, where both momentarily escaped from their usual worries by losing themselves in the ro 3 5 Not as good as the first 2 in the series Grace is the only offspring of a disgraced now deceased viscount Utterly alone in the world and not a cent to her name, she relies on the matchmaking ability of her instructor and friend and the borrowed clothes of another friend to make a comfortable match and secure her future Julian, Lord Knighton, shared a stolen kiss with Grace on a magical night in France, where both momentarily escaped from their usual worries by losing themselves in the romance of the moment He was later disappointed to hear from an acquaintance that Grace is not just poor and desperate but not quite so chaste either So when Julian learns that Grace is forming an attachment to his good but gullible friend, he rushes to the scene, intent on exposing her as the scheming non virtuous person, he believes her to be Only things are not so black and white and when he realises, he has been wrong about her, she is promised to his friend, and he risks dishonouring them both by pursuing her love My main issue is the main charactersthan flirting with immorality by stealing passionate encounters, albeit against their better judgement, while she allows herself willingly to be courted and affianced to his friend The whole situation was uncomfortable and then it all just got resolved too neatly for me such that everyone ends up happy and with the one they love |E-PUB ⚆ A Reluctant Betrothal ♗ From the seaside villas of France to the sumptuous drawing rooms of London s Victorian aristocracy comes a tale of star crossed lovers desperate to escape their irresistible and terribly inconvenient passionWhen Grace Godwyn is introduced to her soon to be fianc s closest friend, she can hardly keep from fainting The man whose angry gaze confronts her is none other than the handsome stranger who came to her aid in a dark French alleyway The stranger with whom she d shared a moment of reckless passion And now, with a single word, he could destroy her one chance for securityJulian St John, Lord Knighton, owes his friend too much to allow him to fall into the clutches of a craven fortune hunter He knows all he needs to know of Grace Godwyn that she s the orphaned and penniless daughter of a disgraced viscount that her lips taste incomparably sweet There is no way he is going to allow this marriage to take placeYet the time Julian and Grace are forced to spend in each other s company, the irresistible their desire grows and the devastating the potential consequencesBook three of the Grantham Girls seriesThis book is approximately , words Historical romances are so much fun to read it s hard to imagine so many restrictions and recriminations on love and marriage Grace Godwyn is a very practical, straight laced young woman Though her father was a viscount, they lived in destitute squalor when she was growing up, until his death and her being granted tutelage as a lady with Ms Grantham The one night where she indulges herself with a nameless man in France comes back to haunt her, as it turns out he s the best friend of the man s Historical romances are so much fun to read it s hard to imagine so many restrictions and recriminations on love and marriage Grace Godwyn is a very practical, straight laced young woman Though her father was a viscount, they lived in destitute squalor when she was growing up, until his death and her being granted tutelage as a lady with Ms Grantham The one night where she indulges herself with a nameless man in France comes back to haunt her, as it turns out he s the best friend of the man she hopes to marry for security Julian St John, Lord Knighton, grew up in the shadow of his roguish father s misdeeds, and has kept his nose clean trying to make up for his sins Something about Grace makes him throw all of his hard fought propriety out the window, and he KNOWS that his friend isn t going to be enough for the fiery young woman he s spotted underneath her polish Will the two of them be able to ignore their attraction, or will everyone be hurt by their forbidden romance I m a huge fan of Ms Weaver s Grantham Girls series, and Grace s story is no exception These historical romances are the perfect blend of sexy and tasteful, with the peerage of England society both observing rules yet breaking them whenever their lust becomes too much This story wasn t as spirited as the first two books in the series, as Grace grew up in a much different situation than her friends did, and Julian was about as buttoned up as they come Even so, as the story went on, the passion and desperation between the two of them became heated and needy and sexy as hell They had good chemistry that lit the pages up whenever they were together, and you can t help but root for them even though they re both on the verge of being promised to other people Julian s guilt over betraying his best friend and, in his mind, acting like his licentious father, were the worst kind of sins I adored the turn of events for Grace toward the end, and the strength that she gained really rounded out her character Bonus I m from the Pittsburgh area, and I got so giddy at reading about Mt Washington and the inclines and steel mills and the Monongahela Props for the shout out, Ms Weaver Bottom Line This is a sexy and fun series that fans of many genres will enjoy Seeat Seeat I received this ARC courtesy of Netgallery in exchange for an honest review4.5 starsAbsolutely beautiful writing from Amanda Weaver This book is about Grace, who had always been described as the impoverished friend in the previous books, uncomfortable accepting charity and subsequently becoming a companion in order to survive.I really liked Grace, she knew the position she was in and did what she had to do.She was very reasonable At that time in England when all a lady aspired to was goodI received this ARC courtesy of Netgallery in exchange for an honest review4.5 starsAbsolutely beautiful writing from Amanda Weaver This book is about Grace, who had always been described as the impoverished friend in the previous books, uncomfortable accepting charity and subsequently becoming a companion in order to survive.I really liked Grace, she knew the position she was in and did what she had to do.She was very reasonable At that time in England when all a lady aspired to was good marriage and great connections , her doing the same did not seem mercenary She does not aspire high, just a man that can respect her and provide a roof over her head She tries with her companions grandson, Fredrick, when she finds out he only intends to make her his mistress , she continues her search She finds that in Rupert, a pugilist, who is first in line to inherit an earldom Their tastes don t exactly align but what s a girl to do Enter Julian, a newly minted earl, who was in France burying his father after who fled England 25 years ago to live with his mistress Julian helps our heroine escape a fiend pursing her and they share a very memorable kiss Julian sees her again but is told by Fredrick, that he intends to make her his mistress.When Julian arrives England and see his close friend is planning on getting affianced with the same woman Fredrick has had, he intends on putting a stop to it even though he is attracted to her.What i love about this book is the level of attraction between the two characters It shimmered the very first time they met and it burned hotter as they got to know each other I could feel the attraction I also liked that it wasn t an instant love fest I like a little lust mixed with animosity and this book delivered Grace was a bit stubborn towards the end but it wasn t overdone I really loved the pace, not too fast to miss anything , not too slow to be bored I couldn t stop reading and i didn t want it to end As much as I enjoyed the first and second books in this series, this third book wasn t quite as good I feel like it was just a series of conversations I know things really did happen, but when I think back over the book, it just seems like a lot of talk and thinking I need to ponder on this a bit Full review to follow.My Review of the series Each of these books could have been read as a stand alone They are not written so closely that they aren t whole stories all on their own In fact, the As much as I enjoyed the first and second books in this series, this third book wasn t quite as good I feel like it was just a series of conversations I know things really did happen, but when I think back over the book, it just seems like a lot of talk and thinking I need to ponder on this a bit Full review to follow.My Review of the series Each of these books could have been read as a stand alone They are not written so closely that they aren t whole stories all on their own In fact, the connection is rather slight among the three books It s explained in the first book, A Duchess in Name, mostly to explain the relationship between the three girls and to set the stage for who they are and how they know each other It also explains the Grantham aspect Grantham is the name of their teacher, their finishing teacher When you are finished by Lady Grantham, you are prepared to face the real world and find a husband who can support you in decent style.The first and second books were quite lovely and the girls did their job and found gentlemen who could support them inthan decent style In fact, Victoria ended up in grand style and quite in love with her handsome husband And, of course, Amelia had been in love with Natty since they were children And he can support her in high style, too.The third book in the series just didn t appeal to me as much as the first two did The Reluctant Betrothal is about Grace She starts her story without any money and it seems to create a chip on her shoulder that she doesn t seem to lose through the whole story Even her HEA ending doesn t seem to be so happy I did give it three stars since it was well written But there just didn t seem to be enough life in it It seemed a bit sad the whole way through.The third book, The Reluctant Betrothal, was provided to me by Carina Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I am not being compensated in any way All opinions are fully my own Judi E Easley