Author Diana Quimby has a new historical romance out–read all about it below!
Title: Compromising Willa
Author: Diana Quincy
Genre: historical romance
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Release Date: December 9, 2013
Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope is ruined and everyone knows it. Back in Town for the first season since her downfall, Willa plans to remain firmly on the shelf, assuming only fortune hunters will want her now. Instead she focuses on her unique tea blends, secretly supporting a coffee house which employs poor women and children. If her clandestine involvement in trade is discovered, she’ll be ruined. Again.
No one is more shocked by Willa’s lack of quality suitors than the newly minted Duke of Hartwell. Having just returned from India, the dark duke is instantly attracted to the mysterious wallflower. His pursuit is hampered by the ruthless Earl of Bellingham, who once jilted Willa and is now determined to reclaim her.
Caught between the clash of two powerful men, a furious Willa refuses to concede her independence to save her reputation. But will she compromise her heart?
Compromising Willa is refreshingly different from most of the historicals I’ve read lately. The characters, the plot, the storyline–it all felt fresh and new. After a somewhat slow beginning, I was hooked–and pretty much good for nothing until I finished it!
Poor Willa! She was “ruined” several years ago–at the same time her romantic hopes were dashed (naturally, not a coincidence)–and as a result is nearing her mid-twenties and unmarried. She assumes that the main reason for her spinster state is that she is unattractive and undesirable (it takes a while for us to understand exactly what her degree of “ruin” is, and how her perception of that event and society’s aren’t exactly the same–and why), and she’s come to terms with it.
Hart never expected to be a duke–that was his brother. He’s been out of the country–he’s been in India, in fact, managing his sugar interests–and knows nothing of the story behind Lady Willa’s life on the shelf. He’s intrigued by how different she seems from other society misses, though, and taken with her beauty. The man who was involved in her “ruin”, though? He’s been Hart’s enemy since their days at school, and Hart’s interest in Willa fans the flames of their rivalry once again, much to her dismay…
Now Willa’s got two powerful men vying for her attention and her hand–which somehow isn’t nearly as fun as you might think it would be. One of the two kisses her in a why she’d never dreamed possible–but does he only do so because he’s assumed she’s tainted goods and therefore not worthy of respect? Come to think of it, she’s not entirely sure that either man can be trusted, not his assertions believed.
She’s nearly compromised–again. Duels (yep, plural!) are nearly fought over her honor. She’s betrothed to one of the men. No, wait–she’s going to be blackmailed into marrying the other. Well, actually…botheration! What’s a girl supposed to do when old grudges and assumptions appear to be driving the motives of everyone around her, and she feels torn in multiple directions at once? All she wants is to be left alone, allowed to finish reading Vindications of the Rights of Woman in peace and create her specially blended teas…
It did bother me a bit that Hart let his jealousy of Willa’s past and his issues with her former paramour rule so much of his behavior in the present era of the novel. Much of the conflict could have been resolved with a simple conversation or two–though at the same time, the fact that those conversations didn’t take place also felt true to the time period, so I could understand why it happened that way, though it frustrated me. Throughout it all I was still hoping against hope that they’d make it work, because I really liked both of their characters despite the fact that their behavior also drove me crazy at times, making me mutter at both of them under my breath.
Animals and children were giving me a wide berth these past two days, for obvious reasons. 😉
This was my first read in the Accidental Peers series, and though it’s actually the third book in the series it takes place before the other two so it’s actually a fine place to start. It definitely whetted my appetite for the other two–Willa’s cousin Camryn, the hero of book one, plays a fairly big role in this one, making me anxious to read his story; we don’t see a lot of the hero of book two, Stanhope, but it’s also enough of a glimpse to interest.
In a nutshell: An refreshingly different read from an author I’m going to be reading again in the future. B rating/ 4 stars.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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1 Paperback of Tempting Bella, 1 tin of Compromising Willa Custom Tea, and a $10 Starbucks Gift Card! US Only.
3 eBooks of Compromising Willa International
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