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A Lovely Review

ARRA (The Australian Romance Readers Association) just posted this review of my new book, The Heiress’s Daughter. I’m delighted with it. The reviewer said: 

  ” I love The Brides of Bellaire Gardens series. The lovely private gardens behind all the houses surrounding them are a splendid retreat. I can just imagine them in full, lovely bloom. It truly is a magical setting.

Do indulge yourself with the first two books: The Scoundrel’s Daughter and The Rake’s Daughter. You get to enjoy both the gardens and the romances of the characters who live there. And happily, they also pop into this book.

It was the beautiful Izzy (Clarissa’s half-sister) who starred in The Rake’s Daughter. Now it’s the ‘plain’ sister’s romance, Clarissa. She thinks she’s plain because she looks like her beloved mother (who Clarissa considered beautiful). Still, her horrible father told her again and again when Clarissa was young that she was plain and ugly and fat. Innocently, she believed him.

She also knew her father only married her mother for her fortune, not for any other reason. When he realised he couldn’t spend it because it was tied up, he abandoned Clarissa and her mother to lead a rakish, dissolute life with affairs everywhere, and zero love for his wife and daughter. What a wretched, dreadful man! If he wasn’t dead already, I’d be inclined to ask Anne Gracie to kill him off.

Clarissa thinks she’ll never find someone who loves her like Izzy’s husband loves her sister. The insults of her father have sunk deep into her psyche; she feels so worthless and unworthy. As far as she’s concerned most men will only want her for her fortune.

She definitely does want to marry, but going out in society is excruciating for her, afflicted with shyness and huge feelings of inadequacy as she is. However, she wants love, babies and a happy life—all of which seem impossible.

So, she decides on two rules when considering any possible husband: 1. No rakes, like her father. 2. No fortune-hunters, like her father. Otherwise, life will become horrendous, as her mother’s was.

We met Race, Lord Randall, in The Rake’s Daughter. He’s the best friend of Clarissa’s guardian Leo, now Izzy’s husband.

Race is—intriguing. Definitely a rake, but—interesting. Handsome. Does he pass Clarissa’s rules? He does have his own fortune, so he’s not necessarily a fortune-hunter. But he is allegedly quite the rake. Women all over town inform Clarissa they are in-ti-mate with him. They tell racy stories about him, all claiming him for their own.

He’s tall and handsome with a lovely deep voice and impeccable manners. He seems nice. But then he starts complimenting Clarissa on her beauty, which is a big, fat lie. She’s plain and fat. She knows it, has always known it. Race must be throwing flowery compliments around because, you know, he’s a rake and just says it to all the women. S0 she cannot believe anything he says, and he’s failed her first rule.

But, is he telling lies? Is he a rake? Suddenly his stories and those of the Ton’s women don’t necessarily match up… And he behaves in a very heroic fashion when Clarissa gets into a few sticky situations.

Anne Gracie writes such tender romance, and this book is a wonderfully lush pleasure to read. And I note there’s to be one more in this series, someone who enters this book in a complete surprise! Oh my, the anticipation. Bring it on.”
                                                                           * * * *

Thank you so much to Malvina, for taking the time to write such a detailed and lovely review, and to ARRA for supporting Aussie romance writers.


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22 days ago

Pleasure was all mine, Anne!

22 days ago

“Lush” is the perfect word for the entire series! Congratulations again, Anne – it’s a lovely and well-deserved review!