Review: Dueling for a Wife: Companion Novella (Redeeming the Rakes #0.5) by Gemma Blackwood

Print Length: 67 pages
Publisher: Gemma Blackwood (January 22, 2019)

From Lady Celia Hartley has a problem. She must find a husband soon or risk being ruined forever.

Just as she is beginning to give up hope, William Marsden asks her to dance. Young, handsome, and kind, he seems to be the perfect answer to her prayers.

But before he can claim her as his own, they must deal with the consequences when the Earl of Scarcliffe discovers the true nature of his sister's situation...

This is a short novella intended as a companion read to the two series, Scandals of Scarcliffe Hall and Redeeming the Rakes..


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

While I understand that this story is meant as a novella, it was just too rushed to offer any real enjoyment for me. I'm also curious as to why the author chose to make this a 67 page novella when most of her full-length novels are less than 200 pages themselves. 

What made them fall in love? Instead of seeing them interact with one another, learning what made the other tick, this seemed more like he wanted a beautiful wife, and she obviously, needed to marry quickly due to poor judgement on her part. That was another reason I found this one to be on the unbelievable side - a woman who has made such a grievous error in judgement once can so quickly decide she is in love with another? 

And then there was the duel that I'm still trying to figure out. William had already proposed marriage. So even if he wasn't the father of her child, he was still trying to make it right. He was trying to save her from ruin. So why did her brother feel the need to challenge him in the first place? More so, why didn't Celia tell her brother the entire truth instead of letting him jump to conclusions? Don't get me wrong, I was glad to see that for once cooler heads did (slightly) prevail, but I felt the whole thing was unnecessary to begin with. 

I felt there was so much unexplored potential with these characters that it felt like an injustice not to give them a full story of their own. Instead of feelings of instant love between the characters show us William and Celia as they settled into their new life as husband and wife. Let us see him struggle with whether or not he can truly accept her child as his own. Instead of a duel that served no purpose; I would rather have seen the father of her baby come back to town to be called out for his role in things. 

All of those little details would have made this one much more enjoyable for me. However, I have read numerous other novels from this author, and enjoyed them all so I will continue reading more as I find ones that stir my interest. 

                                                                   Dueling for a Wife is available from
                                                             (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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