Review: Duchess by Chance by Wendy Vella

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Forced To Wed

The new Duke of Stratton is shocked to learn he has a fiancée he’s never met – the unlikely Miss Eva Winchcomb.

After his late father gambled his fortune away, all he had left to sell was his son. So to save his family’s honor Daniel agrees to the marriage.

But society’s favorite bachelor is no longer a charming easygoing man. His father’s betrayal has left him angry and with a thirst for revenge and the last thing he needs are his growing feelings for his shy new wife.

Eva learns she is to wed the Duke of Stratton on way to the church. Despite the shock, this is an unexpected opportunity to escape her horrid family – one she grasps at with both hands. However, her courage falters when she faces the devilishly handsome but unyielding Duke who is now her husband.

Can they make their marriage real despite coming from two completely different worlds?

 

Vella does her again. Initially, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this novel. Historically, I have enjoyed everything I have read from Vella but the start of this novel felt stereotypical and cliche. It was a plot written hundreds of times before. Not to mention the leads felt shallow. The hero was anger personified and the heroine felt like a caricature of the timid female.

That changed. The leads quickly showed they were far more dynamic than simple caricatures of their initial emotions and their evolution as people and a couple was a delight to read. Supported by an equally diverse cast, Vella clearly knows how to write realistic and entertaining characters. Her dialogue is equally fantastic. The conversations flow as easily as her narrative even when the situations are less than comfortable.

Filled with enough action and drama to keep the story entertaining beyond the romance, Duchess by Chance is a novel about a couple forced together by their interfering fathers. Despite this, they find their own way in life and learn to love each other. Their chemistry bed reflects both their selflessness and love as they grow. While the reader can understand the heroine’s fears due to her history, her hesitations in trusting her husband can be both frustrating and tiring. Typically, historically romance writers included some drama to spice up the story but make the mistake of making unbelievably extreme. Vella knows when too much is too much.

The bottom line is that Duchess by Chance is a lovely debut to a historical romance series. Filled with action and romance, it’s story is driven by engaging characters with the HEA you crave.

❧ Arec

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