on March 29th 2017
Can love truly conquer all…?
An Unhappy Betrothal…
Betrothed since birth, neither Jonah Boothe nor Elizabeth Huntington are content with the marriage contract forced upon them by their parents. Growing up with Jonah in the haunting beauty of Fairbanks, Elizabeth saw them as nothing more than two English children running the fields, building a bond of friendship. Friendship and nothing more...
An Unrequited Love….
Set aside by the man she was supposed to marry. Alexandra Huntington burns with the feeling of rejection. Harboring an immense feeling of being unloved from the experience, Alexandra hides from the truth that her broken contract may had been caused by her own unscrupulous conduct. In order to reclaim her lost pride Alexandra is determined marry another, especially when she discovers that the man she desires is attracted to her younger sister...
The Perfect Gentleman…
Arriving in Fairbanks with the intention of finding a bride, Elizabeth is elated that her future could be changed by the presence of Duke Daniel Forsley of Rosemary Gardens. Unfortunately, Alexandra sees the same. Clinging to the knowledge that Elizabeth is bound to Jonah, Alexandra is prepared to pursue any measure to capture the Dukes attention… any measure at all…
Can Elizabeth win the heart of the duke of Athlone?
Or will Alexandra take away the only chance she will ever have of living a happy life?
“Before we leave, Jonah,” Daniel said, straightening his jacket, “you had mentioned that your grandfather trusted you with most of the overseeing of his properties in the southwestern corner of Fairbanks.”
It was later that afternoon, and Daniel and Jonah stood in the light and airy drawing-room at the manor. He had waited for the younger couple to return to the house before leaving.
“Yes, that is true, your grace.”
“I would very much like to discuss a few things with you about your knowledge of it, as that is where my land will be.” He smiled. “Not the same land, of course, but close enough and similar enough to encounter similar problems.”
“Thank you for asking me.” Jonah’s voice revealed his pleasure. “I am not sure I am exactly expert yet – Grandfather only began to include me two years ago,” he blushed, “but I shall do my best.”
Daniel nodded. “I’m sure you will. I’ve no doubt that if your grandfather leaves the matters up to you that you have good knowledge of it.”
“Thank you, your grace.”
“Shall we meet up later in the Boar and Pen? I believe that is a popular inn for discussing business.”
“Yes, it is! I’d be pleased to meet you there, my lord.”
“Around nine this evening?” he asked, looking at his watch.
“Yes, that sounds good.” Jonah smiled at him.
Daniel turned his eyes to Elizabeth. “You loosen up that corset, my dear.”
Elizabeth felt her whole face flush red. Her eyes dropped to the ground.
“My lady,” he said gently. “I meant no offense.” Reaching forward, he touched her under her chin and lifted her face so that she met his gaze once more. She felt her chin tingling at his touch, running all the way through her into her chest. And when her eyes met his, she felt like she was drowning.
“I… I’m sorry, my lord,” she murmured, dropping her eyes once more.
He shook his head, never taking his eyes from her face. “Don’t say you are sorry. Why are you apologizing when you have done nothing wrong?”
“I… I thought…” She bit her lip.
“Never be ashamed,” he said softly. “Especially not when someone else has misspoken.”
Elizabeth smiled at him. “Thank you, your grace. That is wise advice.”
“My father used to say it. He was a wise man,” Daniel said. It was his turn to look away, and his jaw worked, his feeling for his father so obvious.
“I’m sure you miss him terribly,” Elizabeth said. When he looked at her, his face had softened, and he looked almost vulnerable.
“I do, my lady. Every day.”
The sorrow in his voice nearly brought tears to her eyes.
“Allow me to tell you about him someday.” His voice dropped even lower. Elizabeth could tell he was directing the invitation to her and to her alone.
“I will, my lord. I will.”
Jonah took a few steps closer to her protectively. “I will see you later at the inn, your grace.”
Daniel looked at him without speaking for a moment. “Yes,” he replied finally. “You shall.”
When he had gone, Elizabeth sat down on a low chair as Jonah gently led her to it. “Oh, that was exhausting! All I want to do is cry and sleep.”
Jonah nodded, dropping down beside her. “I am confused, too. At first, I thought he was interested in you. But he also shows interest in Alexandra and speaks to you as though you were a child. Well, not a child. But much too young for him. I don’t understand it. At all. You are a beautiful woman. He is a fool if he thinks otherwise.”
Elizabeth looked into his blue eyes, feeling her throat close on a sob. “Thank you,” she said in a small voice. “I don’t think he denies my beauty. He’s said as much to my father. It is the age that bothers me. I feel as if he looks past me because of my age.”
“He wants his inheritance, does he not?” Jonah grinned wryly. “He had better not wait too long to decide.”
“Surely, he will see what Alexandra is like, and at least look elsewhere before he settles,” Elizabeth said reasonably. “I do not wish her ill. But they are not suited, to my mind. Not suited at all.”
“Well, I agree,” he sighed. “Except he does not seem to notice.”
The two of them heard Alexandra and Daniel, laughing in the hallway. She had just walked down the stairs and appeared at the front door as he was leaving. The sound cut into Elizabeth’s heart. She sighed and looked away, hoping they were not laughing at her fainting spell.
“He touched your chin a very affectionate way,” Jonah commented when the two had gone outside. “That must mean something. I saw that look in his eyes. I would give anything to touch Julia in that way. But her parents would have my head.”
“I just don’t know what to think, Jonah. I’ve been praying and hoping, but it just doesn’t seem to change. I can’t keep nagging Papa. And I can’t say anything at all to your father. Have you said anything more to him?”
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~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Winning The Indecisive Duke is part of The Fairbanks Series – Love & Hearts by Jessie Bennett. It can easily be read as a stand alone book.
Elizabeth Huntington is not a happy young woman. She is weeks away from her 18th birthday, then she is expected to travel for a year before returning home to marry her best friend. She doesn’t want to travel, and she certainly doesn’t want to marry her best friend Jonah. They were contracted by their families at birth to marry, and despite growing up together and loving each other as brother and sister, the last thing either of them want is to marry each other. How can they possibly even contemplate marriage when there is nothing but sibling love between them. For the last two years both Jonah and Elizabeth have been begging their parents to allow them to break the contract. But their parents remain firm with their resolve.
Jonah is in love with another young woman who he desperately wants to marry. Elizabeth feels so bad for him, but even moreso when she finds herself in a similar predicament. A new man moves to the area, Duke Daniel Forsley. He is looking for a wife, he needs to marry within 3 months in order to gain his inheritance.
Alexandra Huntington is Elizabeth’s older sister. She’s recently been spurned in love by Jonah’s brother, and still smarts from his rejection. She also has always felt like her parents favour Elizabeth, although she is smug in the knowledge that she hasn’t been betrothed since birth and will be able to choose a man that she loves to marry. Even knowing that, she still treats Elizabeth terribly. She’s an ill tempered woman who will do anything to get her own way.
When Daniel meets the sisters he is immediately drawn to Elizabeth and wonders if the contract of marriage can be broken. He also admits that Alexandra is quite an attractive woman, and he could see himself settled with her if needs be. He just doesn’t know whether he should try to woo Elizabeth knowing of her contract, or just concentrate on her sister.
Alexandra takes great pleasure in spending time with Daniel, and whenever possible she runs Elizabeth down to the ground. He doesn’t like that side of her at all. She knows that Elizabeth likes Daniel too and always rubs it into her that she is already contracted to Jonah and that has no chance with Daniel, unlike herself. She expects a proposal from him knowing that he needs to marry quickly.
Who will he decide upon, will he end up with either? What about Elizabeth and Jonah, will they end up forced to wed despite their desperate opposition?
I did enjoy this story, it definitely had me running the gamut of emotions. I despised Daniel for putting himself between two sisters and seeming to enjoy the fact that they both had feelings for him. No man should willingly come between sisters! I was angry at Elizabeth’s parents for keeping her to a contract that neither party wanted to uphold. I loved dear Jonah and Elizabeth for being such kindred spirits and for always being there for each other. They made me smile a lot. As for Alexandra, well despite trying to find sympathy for her, I couldn’t, and she came across as the ultimate b**ch. For an author to make me have such strong feelings toward all the characters proves just how good an author they are!
I was absolutely not expecting the story to take the turns that it did, and I must admit to shedding a tear or two. Whether or not in happiness or sadness I am not saying, you will have to read the book yourself to find out!
The only thing lacking for me, especially as this was a romance story, was the romance! There wasn’t even a kiss shared between any of the possible couples pending. There was no wooing, there were no passionate moments. There was just a very sweet, very well written story of a man needing to wed, coming between two sisters, one of which he will end up with. So it definitely fell short for me in that area.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.