Title: Her Grace in Disgrace
Author: Claudia Harbaugh
Series: Widows of Woburn Place #1
Release Date: June 22, 2013
Reginald Aiken, Duke of Warwick is dead and his young widow is not grieving…until the will is read. Isobel Kennilworth Aiken, Duchess of Warwick spent 6 years of her young life in a loveless marriage. Now, at the age of 24, Isobel is a widow. As Isobel awaits the reading of her late husband’s last will and testament, she feels no grief, but in fact is quite hopeful. She is eager to start her life anew. But, as the droning of the solicitor’s voice washes over her detailing the bequests to various servants and family members, a shock awaits her. The “other woman” was not his mistress, but his lawfully wedded wife and together they had a son. Six year old Reggie was now the Duke of Warwick, displacing Reginald’s brother Charles. There is a collective gasp as the revelation is made that instantly displaces Isobel and Charles and dashes their hopes for the future. Isobel must indeed start anew, but not as a titled, influential and wealthy widow, but as plain Miss Kennilworth, tainted by scandal. Can she get past the disgrace and humiliation she has endured and fight her way back into society? Will she find love again with her childhood sweetheart, Andrew Stafford, former vicar, now Lord Saybrooke? Or perhaps she will rekindle the flame with Jeremy Ingles, Lord Westcott, who had caught her fancy at her come out six years earlier, but had not been ready to be leg shackled. But before Isobel can find true love, she must come to grips with her past mistakes and the people she has hurt along the way. She must discover who she is without the title of duchess to her name.
Isobel Kennilworth Aiken, Duchess of Warwick, endured 6 loveless years of marriage to the cold and heartless Reginald Wilbur Percival Aiken, 7th Duke of Warwick. Now he has died and she is expecting a life of wealth and freedom. Instead she gets the shock of her life when the will is read and she discovers that the Duke already had a wife and a son who is his legitimate heir, and they will inherit everything. Isobel loses her title, her fortune, and the respect of the ton.
Andrew Stafford, Viscount Saybrooke, has only been in love once… to his childhood friend, Izzy (known as Isobel to everyone else). Isobel’s father wouldn’t allow them to get married because he was a vicar, and they needed Isobel to marry someone with money to save them. After the unexpected death of his older brother, Andrew is now a titled Lord with a fortune. But one thing hasn’t changed… his love for Izzy.
Isobel had tricked Warwick into marrying her, and now after his death and her own losses she is discovering how many people were affected by her selfish actions. And it seems like she can’t talk to Drew without him making her feel worse for all her mistakes… And he always seems to catch her at the worst possible times. I loved watching Isobel face her mistakes and work really hard to make things right. Along the way she develops some unlikely friendships that help to strengthen her.
Andrew is so jealous of anyone who pays Isobel attention that it seems he can’t talk to her without coming across as condemning and judgmental. No matter how hard he tries to get it right, he seems to keep deepening the misunderstanding between them. Sometimes he has a hard time balancing the vicar he was with the viscount he now is… and figuring out how the “hoyden” he loves fits into his life.
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Review Copy