Lady Vivian Defies a Duke (Beau Monde Bachelor)
Author: Samantha Grace
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Lady Vivian Worth knows perfectly well how to behave like a lady. But observing proper manners when no one is around to impress is just plain silly. When Luke Forest, the newly named Duke of Foxhaven, arrives early to visit his bride-to-be, he catches Vivian acting most unladylike—in her chemise. Though amused by her unconventional ways, Luke hadn’t planned on marrying such a sprightly and opinionated lady. He’ll just have to find her another husband. But can he stand to see the vivacious woman in the arms of someone else?
I have to say I found Vivian to be an absolute delight. She was definitely socially inept (I kept thinking maybe she had some light case of autism – rather like Sheldon from Big Bang…a bit oblivious to the social niceties in many ways, she says what she thinks without a filter), which made for a refreshing change from the society misses obsessed with not putting one foot (or hair) out of place metaphorically. She had her secrets of course and her earlier humiliation is a horrid circumstance for her. This led to a very believable reason on her part of trying to avoid getting married to the duke when he came for her. Through it all, she was clearly devoted to her family, even as she fell unwillingly for Luke, even to the point that she was terrified of tainting Luke’s family with her scandal.
Luke was fantastic. He didn’t want to go through with the marriage his father had set up for him, but when he went to try to weasel out of it, he found himself entranced when he finds Vivian skinny-dipping in a pond. Well, she wasn’t totally naked, as I recall, but pretty darned close, especially for the time period. He instead decides to help her find a husband, but then, of course as it’s a romance novel, he begins to realize he can’t stomach the idea of her marrying anyone else (even though initially he still doesn’t want to marry her himself).
Vivian’s earlier secret comes to light and I thought it was very well handled. I found it admirable how Ms. Grace handled the issue when it came to the secret and how Luke’s family dealt with it (both before the engagement, as it turned out, and afterward).
I thoroughly enjoyed this entry in Ms. Grace’s booklist, and will eagerly continue to read her novels. She isn’t a “must buy” for me yet (very VERY few authors ever achieve that), but she’s edging nearer. This book is a 4 (closer to a 4.5, and I really wish I had a gif for that) out of five for me.
This book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.