Thursday, January 28, 2016

ARC REVIEW Jane Ashford: The Bargain and Heir to the Duke

The Bargain was originally released in 1997 and was re-released 2014. It's nothing what I expected and was pleasantly surprised by it. I haven't read Jane Ashford before and really enjoyed it. It has a little bit of everything I like romance, mystery, adventure. It's a tantalizing misadventure between an unconventional couple, the youngest son of a Duke and the daughter of an actress. It was an amusing read it's not everyday you read a romance where they are hunting ghosts at the request of the Prince Regent.

The youngest son of the Duke of Langford is the black sheep of the family. Lord Alan Gresham is the scholar of the family a scientist studying the properties of light; and as much as he hates London and socializing he must answer the Prince Regent summons. What the Prince Regent wants is preposterous, he wants Alan to find the ghost of a recently deceased actress. The ghost has inevitable crashed every party the Regent has thrown and is making him a laughing stock. The first party Alan attends the ghost shows up but he's not the only one chasing it. Ariel Harding was away at school when her mother committed suicide, she has come to London to deal with what is left of her mother's things and with the whisperings of her mother haunting the Regent she herself sneeks in to try and and see her mother. Ariel makes a bargain with Alan that she will help him in his search of the ghost if he helps her find out what really happened to her mother. But their investigation reveals more about Ariel's past then just what happened to her mother, and brings together the stuffy scholar and the daughter of an actress. Ariel does more than just win over Alan's heart but his families as well, with her wisdom from plays she advises Alan's older brothers and helps them with their love life problems.

Overall it was an entertaining and enjoyable read.

   Heir to the Duke is officially the first book of the Duke's Sons series, however it is the same family and brothers from The Bargain. The Bargain even has a bit about Nate and Violet and their engagement. Nate was perfect and Violet was aggravating but still entertaining. This one is about growth and discovery.

Violet's entire life has been ruled by her tyrannical, hateful grandmother. Violet's marriage to Viscount Hargrove will finally give her the freedom she needs to be who she wants to be. Nathaniel Gresham thought the shy and prim Violet would eventually make the perfect duchess, but soon after the wedding Violet began to change. Nate loves his home he loves working with his tenants and learning everything he needs to before he steps up to the title as Duke of Langford, but he also wants his new wife to be happy and agrees to her simple request of visiting Brighton for their wedding trip. But once they are their he doesn't know what happened to the shy and prim woman he married, he likes the changes he just doesn't want to lose her to the hypocritical ton society.

Violet made a list of things she has always wanted to do and was never before allowed to do. New wardrobe, check; fire her old critical termagant ladies maid, check; swim in the ocean, check; harmlessly flirt with a man, well maybe she should rethink that one. Violet's ways soon have her grandmother back at her doorstep trying to control her again. She also has an unwanted admirer trying a little to hard to seduce her. All the while Nate is enjoying his wife's transformation but he wants to go back home. Violet isn't going to let her grandmother take over her life again but a secret buried deep in her parents past comes out and Violet is scared she might lose everything including Nate. Violet just has to find her backbone and stand up to everyone and be who she wants.

Overall, this was a good read. I enjoyed it despite saying to myself throughout the whole book Dammit Violet.    

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