Summary: She Wouldn’t…
The institution of marriage held no attraction for Grace Ackerly. The world, she had noticed, expected nothing more from women than that they be submissive, demure brood mares, allowed absolutely no rights or even opinions of their own. And yet, at twenty, an age at which most of Society considered her well past her prime, she need only wait a little longer to be safe. No—she was fairly comfortable declaring—she would never marry, no matter the temptation set before her.
With a flashing green gaze potently combining warmth, humor and seductive promise, Trevor Christian Caldwell was resisted by few women. When one factored in the earldom of Huntwick and his legendary charm, his conquests became all the more indubitable. But never had there been a woman he truly respected. Not until now. Here, in Pelthamshire, a spirited redhead forced a decision he had never before considered: He would marry Grace Ackerly, no matter what protestations, no matter what travails.
It was yet to be seen who would prevail. And how.
Heroine: Grace is a fun character to read about because she isn’t held back by society’s rules. Having grown up in the country, Grace is aware of how to act like a proper lady, but constantly pushes her boundaries. However, for someone so headstrong, I was a little disappointed that by the time we reach the climax of the story, Grace completely forgot her reasons to not want to marry. It’s never brought up again that she doesn’t want the constricted life of a married woman. She gave up her ideals, and instead she was more intent on not losing the wager. I would have loved to seen more of a mental struggle with Grace as to what exactly she was giving up (and gaining) with a marriage with Trevor.
Hero: I liked Trevor. I think he does fall prey to insta-love, but I like how he’s determined to get what he wants but still remain a perfect gentleman. But that turning point in the story was way out of character. I honestly still don’t get how he had the quickest change in character. It didn’t make any sense. At least the characters themselves realize that his actions were out of the ordinary, but I still don’t understand the logic from Point A to B.
Supporting Cast: Deneane Clark sets up a possible romance for a book in the Virtue series very, very early on in GRACE. For once, I am actually more excited about the sequel than the book I was currently reading because I know it’s just going to be SUCH A FUN BOOK. Mercy, the youngest Ackerly daughter, is almost thirteen, but she is the spitting image of Grace. She already has her Knight in Shining Armor picked out, and it’s no one other than the Duke of Blackthorne. Before I even finished reading GRACE, I was already planning on reading Mercy’s story as soon as possible.
Plot: I liked the basis of the plot well enough. After Trevor is hit with insta-love, he convinces Grace’s father to sign a betrothal contract on one condition: Trevor must get Grace to fall in love with him. But Grace is insistent on never getting married. Trouble ensues when she can’t resist. … But then there’s the drama. The villain. Grace has a stalker, and the stalker is convinced that he and Grace will live Happily Ever After. This subplot adds tension to all the romantic drama, but at the same time, it’s too predictable that it isn’t fun. Plus, I couldn’t hate on the Evil Villain because he was more deranged in the head than actually evil.
Romance: Because the romance is based off on insta-love when Trevor sees Grace’s portrait in her sitting room, GRACE by Deneane Clark lacked romantic tension for me. However, towards the end of the book when Everything Went Wrong, I was finally able to enjoy the romance. I’m a believer in a Happily Ever After and it was fun to read how the characters can somehow get their acts together.
Love Potion Strength:
I downloaded GRACE by Deneane Clark as a free ebook on my Nook. It was enjoyable, and I am definitely going to pick up Mercy, but probably not the rest of the series.