Ian MacGregor is wooing a woman who's wrong for him in every way. As the new Earl of Balfour, though, he must marry an English heiress to repair the family fortunes. But in his intended's penniless chaperone, Augusta, Ian is finding everything he's ever wanted in a wife.
©2012 Grace Burrowes (P)2013 Tantor
"Burrowes is superb at creating connections that feel honest and real, and the side romances for Ian's siblings, treated with the same tenderness and care as her central pair, makes this tale even sweeter." (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)
I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)
This was a pretty good story. I liked Augusta and Ian and their story was enjoyable and although I guessed the ultimate outcomes of the story, there were some unexpected twist along the way that kept things interesting. This is the first book I've read by this author and based on this I would be willing to try more of her work in the future.
Augusta is a spinster and very poor. She lives in the country with an ailing aunt with very little to get by on. She was very well off while growing up but when her parents died she somehow ended up penniless. She was to be engaged to a man but when her dowry was gone he suddenly was gone too. Augusta has been invited to Scotland with her family to act as a chaperon for her cousins and she agreed because she needs her Uncle's support to live.
Ian is the second son of the family and wasn't raised to the the Earl, nor does he want the title. Unfortunately, Ian's older brother, Asher, disappeared in to the wilds of Canada and hasn't been heard from in almost 7 years. The legal proceedings have been started to have his brother declared dead and Ian is forced to take the title. His clan is poor and they're getting by but barely. The only way Ian can figure get the money to secure his clan's future is to marry a woman with a big dowry that wants his title.
When the story begins, Augusta is arriving with her family at Ian's estate. It happens to be "next door" to the Queen's property and Ian and his family rent out rooms to English visitors that want the chance to be near and possibly glimpse the Queen. Augusta's family is paying for their visit but also using it as an opportunity to attempt to get an engagement for their daughter, Genie, to Ian as they have money and want a title in the family. Ian and Augusta don't have an instant attraction and at first he sees her as a possible ally in his attempts to get Genie to like him and agree to the engagement. Genie has no interest in Ian. Genie wants to marry for love not for a title and (because of her father's cruelty) fears the intended marriage with Ian because she's convinced he won’t be a kind husband so she avoids him as much as possible. As Ian attempts to find a way to talk to her, he talks to Augusta to try to get some insight. Augusta talks to Ian and realizes he's a good man and that Genie could do much worse. Augusta wants to help Ian but Genie is hard to persuade against her ideas. Things get complicated for both Augusta and Ian as they spend more time together and start to feel an attraction for each other. Ian knows he has to marry money and Augusta has none. Augusta understands Ian’s reasons and doesn't fault him, knowing he has to marry Genie and there’s no way they could end up together.
Baron Altsax, Genie’s father, is in a hurry to get the marriage pushed through and it makes Ian suspicious, especially when he finds out some weird information about Augusta’s inheritances and thinks that maybe Altsax's finances aren't on the up and up. He starts investigating and in the mean time there are a number of things going on to keep everyone busy. The other chaperon is Aunt Julia who is a widow and she and Ian’s brother, Con, have something going on. Also it appears there are feelings between Genie and Ian’s other younger brother, Gil. And Genie’s brother, Matthew, seems to be in to something with Ian’s sister (a widow), Mary Frances. Ian tries to deal with the Baron’s machinations and everything else that’s going on, meanwhile he’s wanting Augusta but can’t get anywhere with Genie who he’s supposed to be wooing. Ian and Augusta do end up alone a few times and they keep respectable distances for a while but eventually (after a rock slide almost kills them) they give in to their attraction. They both feel badly about their slip but since Ian has gotten no closer to getting Genie to talk to him, Augusta figures they can grasp a little happiness until the engagement gets set in motion and then she’ll at least have some happiness to remember. Ian see so much in Augusta and thinks she’d make him the perfect wife but he feels too much responsibility to his clan to marry for love rather than money. There are many ups and downs and some lethal threats that almost bring an end to Augusta. Fortunately, with some effort and some creative thinking things get worked out in the end and Ian and Augusta get their HEA.
This was a very enjoyable story. I liked both Ian and Augusta very much. I also liked the secondary characters (excluding the Baron of course) and was happy with how things turned out for the various couples. The story was pretty good and had some unexpected twists that I liked even though the ultimate ending wasn't hard to figure out. I will admit that some of the descriptions in the conclusion got a little flowery (cheesy?) in its language but that was just at the very end and the rest of the story was actually pretty good at not going overboard with that type of writing. The next book in the series looks interesting and I’ll plan to read it when I get time. I’d recommend this story. :D
Well, despite the promising cover, I have finally found a Highlander book that didn't wow me - it was soooo s l o w - and I was listening on double time!!
The story just progressed at such a slow tempo that I was thinking about skipping parts to get to the good bits but even if I had done that there were such few good bits to find I may have missed them altogether. There was sex but it left out most of the action, there were too many romances going on at the same time (4) which detracted from the main one which was sweet, tender but rolled on and on. GN used too many words to describe just one thing that I thought "just get there already".
Everything seemed to happen in the last 2/3 chapters so, if you are tempted, do yourselves a favor - listen to the first 2 chapters then skip to the last 3 chapters and you won't have missed much.
However, finishing on a 'positive' I loved RG's Scottish brogue which saved the book for me and awarded it a 3 star listen.
Worth a credit? No and I must try not to buy any of her next ones in the series.
I enjoy Historical Romance. I like the description of the story line of this book fine but it ended up taking forever for me to finish it. I stopped several times. I got it on sale or I would have returned it. For me it's not worth a credit. I don't mind sex scenes but there needs to be more to the plot than that for me to enjoy a book. This really felt like a very obvious, thin plot line as an excuse to stitched the getting to the sex part, then once they got there, it seemed like that was pretty much the whole point. Very disappointing.
This is the first audible book I purchased , so I didn't know what to expect. Hoped for different voices and such. I got everything I wanted and more. It made the book so much more enjoyable. I read/heard the book in two nights. Didn't read without voice, which curtailed reading at work. My boss was probably thrilled. : ). It is great, try it.
His own voice is so smooth, all the others are so interesting and believable. It also made the characters more real and easier to follow. Too many characters and you start to wonder "who is this again?" Loved it.
First you get introduced to too many characters at the beginning of the book and it takes half the book to figure out who's who and then everyone who's eligible gets involved in a romance and sometimes not with the person they should so you lose sight of what should be the story of the two main characters. Unfortunately I wasn't able to care enough about the characters or what little story line there was to continue with the trilogy.
Without a doubt! My main reason for recommending it would be the solid writing of this interesting love story, and the second would be narration. I truly enjoyed Roger Hampton's narration and talent in covering multitude of characters.
There really are many, but the first one to come to mind is the scene from Chapter One in which Ian is showing Augusta the taps in the water closet. His thoughts about her were very entertaining and revealing, but the narration of that scene was priceless!
"The next few moments happened in a series of impressions.
First came the sensation of the door thwacking into Ian from behind. A stout blow more unexpected than painful, but enough to make him stumble forward.
Then, Fiona’s voice, muttering the Gaelic equivalent of “Beg pardon!” followed by a patter of retreating footsteps.
And then, in Ian’s male brain, the woman with the pretty, anxious eyes became the woman who was soft, lush, and still beneath Ian’s much greater weight.
She didn’t push him away. She didn’t even touch him. The sole indication that his weight was any imposition as he flattened her to the wall, that the impropriety of the moment was any imposition, was her closed eyes.
The final impression threatened to part Ian from his reason: her breasts, heaving against his chest. In preparation for her bath, she’d left off her stays, and the feminine abundance pressed against Ian ambushed his wits.
Shrewd, noticing, and astoundingly well endowed.
When he wanted to press closer, Ian pushed himself away with one hand on the wall and made sure both feeder taps were open. “I do beg your pardon, Miss Merrick.”
“A mishap only. I stumbled upon leaving the coach.”
She would recall that, while Ian had thought nothing of it. His damned male parts were thinking at a great rate now, and all because…"
Mr. Hampton did an excellent job with Scottish accent and that's something I could never manage! I also loved the way he portrayed the villain of the story, Willard Daniels, Baron of Altsax and Gribbony.
Yes, but alas it was not to be. I did listen to it within two days.
This book's well written story and Mr. Hampton's brilliant interpretation of multiple characters had contributed to some hours of priceless entertainment for me.
It might be just me but, I started this book over twice trying to figure out who was who. There were too many characters all at once, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, chaperones, etc. I never got to figure out who the main two characters were until well into the book. For me the characters were just not likeable. That could have been the narrator's fault. Sorry...and I was really looking forward to a new Scottish series. :(
I love the author and this narration made the book even better. Roger Hampton read all Scottish and English characters beautifully and even though the narration was great it only served to make listening to Grace Burrowes' wonderful prose that much better. I'll look for him on other books.
I'm finding that I enjoy a male narrator better for romance novels.
Maybe Outlander because of the Scottish/English romance and great reading, not the time period or time travel genre.
No but I will
Yes. And one I'll listen to again and again like Davina Porter's of the Outlander series.
Grace Burrowes stories are always worth listening to, but this was not my favorite. It seemed to me that there was too much going on. I had to relisten to parts to keep the story straight in my mind.
Who doesn't love a big Scotsman, so Ian was my favorite. But, I also liked the side story of Mary Fran and Matthew.
It was ok, I just found some of the characters voices annoying.
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