Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Book Review: An Avon True Romance; Anna and the Duke by Kathryn Smith

Publisher summary/blurb:

Anna- At the very least, anyone in Anna Welsley's position would be satisfied. Anna is to inherit a fortune, and after a glittering London Season, is now engaged to a duke's son. Anna herself does not understand the vague feeling of dissatisfaction. While her mother industriously plans Anna's wedding, Anna herself reads poetry and wonders if what she's in is love or just an arrangement.

The Duke- As the estranged Scottish son of an English Duke who has just died, Ewan McLaughlin is the reluctant heir to his father's title. Arriving in London, he must face is father's widow, half sister and half brother, Richard, who was fully expecting to become the Duke himself. While acquainting himself with his new found relations, Ewan finds himself more and more often in the company of Richard's fiancee, the beautiful Anna.

When it becomes clear that Richard is conspiring against Ewan, Anna is compelled that Richard is conspiring against Ewan, Anna is compelled to warn Ewan. But what beings in innocence soon becomes betrayal as Anna finds the answer to the question in her heart- in Ewan.

My thoughts:

This historical teen,ya romance starts off when Ewan McLaughlin, who has lived with his Grandmother all his life in a small Scottish village where his family's Castle lies falling into dilapidation receives a letter to say that he must go to London at once because his father (who he has never had contact since baby and early toddler hood) has died and has left him the title of Duke. Angry and wondering why his father left the title to him, Ewan is reluctant to go to London but goes to meet his Father's new family who have been left behind. There are many challenges along the way such as the hostility of his half brother Richard towards him and the new ways of London society but when Ewan meets Anna Welsley and unsuspectingly falls in love with her, that just anger's his brother more as she is her fiancee. The story follows what happens to all the character's relationships between eachother and the obstacles that they have to overcome to follow their hearts.

I have heard from other people that this plot has been done several times before but this didn't spoil my enjoyment as I had never read a book like that before, but even if that is the case for the reader, I think the well developed and unique characters make up for this as I really cared about what happened to them.
I *loved* the romance between Anna and Ewan, it was so cute and just what I was looking for- a clean teen romance as many of the adult historicals are unsuitable. Anna's shy but bubbly occasionally, kind personality and the things that she did reminded me a bit of myself and Ewan was a great hero, tall and handsome but with flaws too so that he seemed human.  You get to know both Ewan and Anna well by the end of the book as each chapter, although written in the third person, follows what happens to either Anna or Ewan. Right from the beginning I thought they would be great together, especially with their love of books and poetry.
However, this book doesn't just focus on love as there is an element of adventure and mystery to it that adds an extra dimension to the book and makes you desperate to find out what happens at the end as it is quite unpredictable.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants a light hearted book with an adorable romance set in the past that keeps your heart fluttering and makes you sigh! If you have never tried reading a historical romance before but enjoy modern day romances, this would be a great innocent read to start with.

If you like the sound of this book, why not add it to your summer reading list?


  1. Anonymous23:30:00

    It sounds really nice - and I love clean romances - but I can't help but wonder... A Duke could not "leave" his title to anyone of his own choice - his estate, yes, if it wasn't entailed - but not his title; that would automatically go to whoever was next in line. If the writer does not know that, I can't help wondering about her knowledge about the time period - how good is it? I'm really curious, since that kind of thing could annoy me somewhat... If Ewan was the oldest (legitimate) son he would automatically become the next Duke on his father's dying - but perhaps the rest of the family just didn't know of his existence? which would explain it. LRK

  2. Anonymous18:53:00

    I did a little snooping, and according to the author's website:

    "Scottish titles of nobility were sometimes passed down through the mother's family line, while that was almost totally unheard of in England. In England titles passed to the oldest legitimate boy – end of story!"

    Well, that explains it, then.:) LRK


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