Review: Duchess by Chance (Regency Rakes #1) by Wendy Vella


Print Length: 290 pages
Publisher:  Vella Ink (February 11, 2017)

From  He believes she betrayed him!

Daniel, Duke of Stratton, learns of his betrothal to Miss Berengaria Evangeline Winchcomb minutes before his father’s death. Having gambled his fortune away, all the late Duke had left to sell was his son. To save his family’s honor Daniel agrees to the marriage, but society’s favorite bachelor is no longer a charming easygoing man— his father’s betrayal has left him angry and with a thirst for revenge.

Has she replaced one tyrant for another?

Eva learns she is to wed the Duke of Stratton on the way to the church. Inside she feels a flicker of hope that at last she is to leave her horrid family— however that flicker is short-lived as she faces the cold unyielding man who is now her husband. Has she escaped one tyrant to be forced into marriage with another?

Is there any hope for Daniel and Eva’s marriage despite coming from two completely different worlds?


My Rating: 1 star out of 5

To be honest, I have been sitting here for the better part of five minutes trying to figure out how to put into words how bad this story was. I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, but this book just had too much going on to find anything good to say about it. 

Let's begin with the characters. Every male connected to Eva's past (with the exception of her youngest brother Reggie) are just so over the top in their villainy that I couldn't stop rolling my eyes. Lord Huxley arrives at her home and tries to rape her after she has married and become a Duchess, yet she dances with him at a ball so as to not cause a scene? Her father (a mere mister with no title), attempts to blackmail her, and instead of telling her husband who is actually in a position to help her, Eva goes behind his back and gives away not only the money and jewelry Daniel has given her, but his grandfather's ring as well. Even after Daniel confronts her, she continues to lie to him throughout most of the book. Her father goes so far as to come to her home to tell her how Huxley and himself are unhappy with her behaviors, and that she would do well to remember where her loyalties lie. Uhhh sir? She is a married woman now, and a Duchess to boot. 

Now I totally understand that Eva has been raised by these villains, but her blatant stupidity and disregard for her own safety is mind-blowing. Near the end of the book, Huxley breaks into the home of Daniel's grandmother during a ball in order to kidnap Eva and have her once and for all. Daniel interrupts them before this happens, and ends up fighting a duel over it (a duel that she repeatedly begs him not to fight).  And what does he get for his trouble? Eva yelling at him! She goes so far as to tell Daniel that she doesn't want him fighting duels "every time someone challenges" her. I'm sorry what? Huxley wasn't challenging you dimwit, he was going to kidnap you.  

I would have found more enjoyment in this novel if the relationship between Daniel and Eva was at least believable or enjoyable, but alas, it was not. When they are first married, he is cruel to her. While that is somewhat understandable due to the nature of their forced marriage, the fact that in one scene he very nearly rapes her as well left a bad taste in my mouth. Of course, he apologizes, then leaves for London straightaway. He is content to stay there while his wife remains at his country estate until he gets word that Huxley had accosted her in their home. He returns only to force her (against her protests) to return with him to London so he can "protect her". From there, we are expected to believe that they become friends, then fall in love, but I never really felt that from them. At best, they were acquaintances who slept together. 

I found the Dowager Duchess and Daniel's friend Simon to be the most likable of the bunch, and even though Simon's book is up next, I doubt I will continue on. Between the overall mess that was the plot, and the constant spelling errors, I don't think this author is for me. 

                                        Duchess by Chance is available from 
                                            (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)


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