Friday, May 26, 2017

Just Between Us - - Marry in Haste






Many years ago, Janga encouraged me to read a book by an author who was unknown to me at the time. The book was The Perfect Rake, the author, Anne Gracie, and that one story was all it took to launch my love affair with this author’s stories. If she writes it, I buy it, and more times than not, fall in love right along with her superbly crafted characters. Considering our mutual love of all things Gracie, it made sense to select the author's newest novel, Marry in Haste, for our next Just Between Us chat.


PJ: Speaking of superbly crafted characters, Marry in Haste, a marriage-of-convenience story that begins a new series, features a wonderful collection of characters that have already won my heart. What do you think of the Marry in Haste characters, Janga? Any particular favorite(s)?

Janga: PJ, you know I have a long history of falling in love with Gracie characters, and I must admit the characters in Marry in Haste rank high among my favorites. I have an abiding affection for schoolteacher heroines, and Emm totally captured my interest and my heart. I laughed at her handling of the flirtatious student who tries to fake an injury so Cal can carry her but, like Cal, I was impressed that she treats her student firmly “but with humor and a light touch.” She reveals the same qualities when she deals with Georgiana’s refusal to wear a riding habit and ride sidesaddle. That’s my kind of teacher. I also loved that Emm is practical. She knows the grim future that awaits a woman with no fortune or family, and, despite some understandable reservations, she accepts her marriage of convenience, which offers her not only security but also prestige and a family of her own, as an advantage no reasonable woman would refuse. And I thought it was perfect that some of her former students were among her defenders at the Braxton party. What a delight that scene was! I adored Emm, but I thought Cal was wonderful too. I know you share that impression.

PJ: I do! Cal is an exceptional hero and ranks among my Gracie favorites. He’s a good man - honorable, patriotic, and loyal – yet totally clueless when it comes to the fairer sex; what I’d call a “relationship virgin.” Sent away to school at age 7, then immediately joining the army afterward, Cal has spent most of his life among men. He’s a soldier to the core and used to not having his orders questioned. He sees things in black and white with no shades of gray intruding upon his unquestionable sense of right and wrong. Imagine his confusion, and frustration, when he returns home from the continent to discover he’s now head of his family and responsible for young women who have no intention of following his orders or, worse yet, turn on the tears when he lectures them. Poor Cal. He’s been set adrift in a feminine sea of befuddlement and the only oars in sight belong to our intrepid schoolteacher, Emm. Initially, Cal views Emm as the neat solution to a very big problem: how to insure the safety of his left-behind family while he completes a dangerous mission then returns to the continent and his life as a soldier. It’s all he knows; all he thinks he’s good at, but Gracie has more in store for Cal than he could have imagined. She flawlessly chronicles his journey of growth and self-awareness from a one-dimensional soldier, determined to fulfill his duty but completely out of touch with “finer feelings,” to a fully dimensional man who has learned the value, and joy, of compassion, family, understanding, and love. He’s a sigh-worthy hero and I hope we’ll see more of him in future books in the series.

Janga: Beautifully said. And I totally agree. Anne Gracie’s characterization skills are superb. We see this not only in her protagonists, but also in her secondary characters. She even makes Cal’s friend Bentley, who is killed before the story opens, a real person rather than just a motivator of Cal’s need for revenge. I thought all three of Cal’s charges were wonderful—the intrepid Rose, the soft-hearted Lily, and the unconventional Georgiana. I think I could write a full essay on their names. I especially thought that the flower names of Cal’s sisters served as a pointed contrast to their niece George with her unladylike upbringing. I can’t wait to see what Gracie does with each of them as they become the heroines of their own books. And the aunts! One of my greatest delights in an Anne Gracie book is meeting her older woman character and in Marry in Haste, we get two. Aunt Dottie is a darling. She is much less dotty (and I don’t think the word play is a coincidence) than she appears. I do hope we learn more about her relationship with Logan, the butler. :) Even starchy Aunt Agatha won my heart in the end, and I loved the “dowager with a lorgnette” line. It was the perfect touch after the numerous references to Agatha’s lorgnette. That’s another Gracie trademark—moving her readers to laughter and to tears.


PJ: Oh, I agree! Anne Gracie’s ability to move me to both laughter and tears certainly contributes to her position on my most beloved authors list (And I still find myself humming the lorgnette line - so clever!). Her stories have such a feel-good quality to them and Marry in Haste is no exception. An unexpected treat while reading this book is the appearance of Daisy, heroine of The Summer Bride (Chance Sisters Book #4), in a pivotal scene for Rose, George, and, especially, Lily. Seeing Daisy again reminded me of how much I adore her and (here comes that feel-good factor again) her reaction to Lily when Emm and the girls visit Daisy’s dress shop had me once again wiping away tears. Gracie sure knows how to delve into a reader’s emotions and pluck at those heartstrings. Like you, Janga, I’m eagerly anticipating future stories in this series and I also am looking forward to discovering more about Aunt Dottie and her butler. I wonder if other Chance sisters will make cameos in future books? I sure hope so!



Readers, if you enjoy well-crafted historical romances with engaging characters, lively banter, heart-tugging emotion, scenes that will move you to both laughter and tears, and a happy ending that will have you sighing with satisfaction, we enthusiastically recommend Anne Gracie’s Marry in Haste.

~~~~~~~~~~~~


Have you read Anne Gracie's novels yet?
Do you have a favorite?
What's the last book that moved you to both laughter and tears?

When I notified Anne Gracie of this post, she graciously offered two print copies of Marry in Haste for a giveaway. So, two randomly chosen people who leave a comment before 11:00 PM (EST), May 27th will each receive a print copy of the book.
(Open internationally)

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marry in Haste
By Anne Gracie
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 2, 2017

Major Calbourne Rutherford returns to England on the trail of an assassin, only to find he’s become Lord Ashendon, with the responsibility for vast estates and dependent relatives. Cal can command the toughest of men, but his wild half-sisters are quite another matter. They might just be his undoing.

When he discovers that Miss Emmaline Westwood, the girls’ former teacher, guides them with ease, Cal offers her a marriage of convenience. But strong-minded and independent Emm is neither as compliant nor as proper as he expected, and Cal finds himself most inconveniently seduced by his convenient wife.

Emm knows they didn’t marry for love, yet beneath her husband’s austere facade, she catches glimpses of a man who takes her breath away. As pride, duty and passion clash, will these two stubborn hearts find more than they ever dreamed of?

 

58 comments:

  1. I have only recently finished one of Anne's books (The Autumn Bride .. audio version) which therefore has to be my favourite! I found the underlying humour very endearing and a little reminiscent of Julia Quinn. The adventurous heroine, climbing over rooftops to enter a house through a window also reminded me of Teresa Medeiros with 'One Night of Scandal'. When a book reminds you of other books by favourite authors you know that you are onto a good thing. Anne's writing is addictive and after finishing the first Chance Sisters audio I immediately downloaded the next in the series which I will be starting later today. From the wenches web site Anne comments that 'Marry in Haste' will also be available in audio soon ... I'm one listener who can't wait!

    You know, when I have discussions with male colleagues, we always seem to disagree over something, even if its only the taste of the beer. You ladies seem to agree on everything. Is this a gender thing or is Anne's writing in the beautiful and sublime category ... I'm inclined to the latter view! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You ladies seem to agree on everything. Is this a gender thing or is Anne's writing in the beautiful and sublime category ... I'm inclined to the latter view!

      I'm inclined to agree with you, Q! There are indeed books upon which Janga and I disagree but Gracie's are not among them. :)

      Delete
    2. Oh, gosh, Quantum, I'm blushing. I'm so pleased you enjoyed my Autumn Bride. Thank you for the kind words.

      Delete
  2. I have read "The Summer Bride" and "The Winter Bride" by Anne Gracie. Both books really exude a feeling of friendship and that of "sisters." "The Summer Bride" really stands out because I loved Aunt Beatrice who took the girls in and truly cared for them. There was that bit of humor in the book too that made it all very real.

    I've been so wanting to read and review "Marry in Haste" and would be thrilled to win a copy. Thank you, Anne Gracie and The Romance Dish for a great giveaway! Fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'll enjoy Marry in Haste a lot, Connie. It has that same feel-good friendship (and sister) factor along with some wonderful older characters and, of course, a hero and heroine I cheered for the entire journey.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much, Connie. I do enjoy my older lady characters, and Lady Beatrice connected with a lot of readers, perhaps because at the start she was in such a dire state, but still so brave about it. And naughty. ;)

      Delete
  3. I really enjoyed The Autumn Bride, and Marry in Haste has been on my radar for a while. It sounds like a lovely story, and that cover is so pretty.

    A recent laughter and tears book for me was Devil in Spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Devil in Spring brought forth many laughs and tears for me as well, cheryl. Along with more than a few sighs...

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much, Cheryl, I was blessed by the Berkley cover people with that pretty cover. I love all Lisa Kleypas's books, and now we're into the second generation of the Wallflowers, I'm looking forward to more.

      Delete
  4. I have enjoyed her stories - my favorite is always the one I'm currently reading :) I would have to say any of Grace Burrowes' books. Books that bring on strong emotions are the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the book you're with, catslady? *grin*

      Delete
    2. Thanks Catslady -- I love the way a good book can sweep you to another time and place.

      Delete
  5. I enjoy Annie Gracie's books. The humor and wit keep me thoroughly entertained. I think that the last book of this author's I read was The Accidental Wedding, and my husband kept looking over at me when I would chuckle. I honestly can't remember the last book that moved me to both laughter and tears.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lil. I remember giving my sister Kelly Hunter's first book some years ago -- Wife for a Week -- and later my b-i-l complained to me that he got no sleep that night, because my sister kept chuckling and waking him up to read bits of it aloud to him.

      Delete
  6. Anne Gracie's novels have given me a great deal of enjoyment and pleasure. The Summer Bride was memorable and special. Her books give me hope and are captivating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for those lovely words, Petite. It's one of the reasons I love writing and reading romances -- they're books that remind you of the good in people and life, and give you hope.

      Delete
  7. I read The Autumn Bride (loved it!) & have the others on my TBR stack. I really want to finish the Chance Sisters before I read the new one. I really enjoyed your joint review & look forward to reading Marry in Haste. Don't enter me, as I picked up the book at B&N last week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Sharlene. Yes, I think it's a good idea to finish the Chance sisters first. Marry in Haste is stand alone, but there's a tiny link between that and The Summer Bride, Daisy's story, that I think you might enjoy. It's not necessary, of course, but readers have told me they enjoyed it.

      Delete
    2. I like reading books in order, especially if there are cross over characters.

      Delete
  8. I haven't red any Annie Gracie books yet, so thanks for the introduction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kim -- all the best in the draw.

      Delete
  9. I have read An Accidental Wedding by Anne Gracie and enjoyed it very much. Would be thrilled to read this one by her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Serenissima -- what a gorgeous name. Good luck in the draw.

      Delete
  10. I have not read her books yet, will have to add her to my list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, KaiSquared -- I hope if you red my books, you enjoy them.

      Delete
  11. I knew I should have pre-ordered her earlier. It's been a busy, chaotic month. *LOL* I've read all her books since being encouraged to read her PERFECT RAKE. I have not gotten to read those books before then, but Anne is brilliant and to die for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hiya Hellie -- I don't know how you reviewers manage to read all you do. Do you ever get sick of "having" to read a book, not because you're in the mood, but just because you feel like?

      Delete
  12. I read The Autumn Bride and loved it. I would enjoy this giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Traveler. Best of luck in the giveaway draw.

      Delete
  13. I'm another of Janga's Anne Gracie converts! I love her books. They combine the best of everything I love in my historical reading experience - great complex interesting characters, fun settings, history thrown in but not in your face, humor, and best of all a sense of community and peripheral relationships that add so much more to the reading experience. When I pick up one of Anne Gracie's books I know I'm going to get so much more than just a romance. My favorite would have to be THE PERFECT RAKE. It had a great "first meet", with Gideon playing along with Prudence's deception, and I just love when the hero sees so much more in the heroine than anyone else does. I absolutely loved MARRY IN HASTE. I can't wait to see what she has in store for the rest of Cal's family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi IrishEyes -- thank you so much for your very kind words. And I love it that so many people still love my Gideon, from Perfect Rake. How I struggled with that man -- and enjoyed every minute of him.

      Delete
  14. I fell in love with Ms Gracie's 4 Chance brides novels. And the other day, you were discussing 2 of her early books so I downloaded them, have not had a chance to read them yet. I think one of the things I like best about Ms Gracie's writing is the true humanity of her characters. I recently finished Kate Hewitt's Find me at Willoughby Close. I cried and laughed in that book. It is about a woman's journey to a new life and it is terrific.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Annette, and thank you for buying my very early books. Thanks also for the Kate Hewitt recommendation -- I'll try her out. I'm always up for a new-to-me author.

      Delete
  15. I don't think I've read her books. Beautiful cover!

    denise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Denise. I was so pleased when my ed sent me the draft of the cover -- it's so pretty. And they tweaked it a few times and it became even prettier. I should blog about that one day, shouldn't I?

      Delete
  16. I will have to give Ms. Gracie's books a try! Thanks for this offer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robin -- I hope if you do, you enjoy them. Good luck in the draw.

      Delete
  17. I don't have a favorite Anne Gracie, but I do enjoy her books.

    I recently re-read FRIDAY'S CHILD by Georgette Heyer. I had forgotten how delightful it is. Yes, I laughed and cried.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, I adore FRIDAY'S CHILD -- Hero is such a darling and Sherry such a classic young rattlepate. And I love the relationship between the men. And the whole 'Nemesis" conversation' -- so funny.

      Delete
  18. I only became aware of Anne Gracie's stories a bit over a year ago and enjoyed the couple of her books that I've read so far - she is now on my to-read author list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Di -- I hope you enjoy my other books.

      Delete
  19. I've read many of Anne's books, looking forward to this one. One of my favorites is His Captive Lady, which I think may have been the first of hers I read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Miriam. I remember when I was writing His Captive Lady, I was so worried that readers wouldn't like it, that it would be too sad, but I'd forgotten that readers like to cry, especially when a story ends happily. It's why I love romance.

      Delete
    2. Mine too, miriam! It's one of my all-time Anne Gracie favorites.

      Delete
  20. I've read many of Anne's books, looking forward to this one. One of my favorites is His Captive Lady, which I think may have been the first of hers I read.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Unfortunately, Anne's books are still either on my TBR or wishlist. I have the horrible habit of rereading books in a series when a new book comes out - which makes it difficult to read more new books. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glenda, I love rereading books in anticipation of a new book coming out. But this book is the first in a new series, so you don't have to wait. :)

      Delete
    2. Glenda, you have so many wonderful stories to look forward to.

      Delete
  22. Diane P. DiamondMay 27, 2017 at 4:11 AM

    I love Anne's books and have Marry in Haste on my wish list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you enjoy it as much as Janga and I did, Diane!

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Diane -- hope you enjoy it.

      Delete
  23. I have read and enjoyed some of Anne's stories. Loretta Chase is another author who has brought me both laughter and tears in her stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loretta Chase is wonderful, isn't she?

      Happy to hear you're enjoying Anne's stories too.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Maureen -- I'm a huge fan of Loretta Chase. Also Laura Kinsale.

      Delete
  24. Sorry I went MIA yesterday, folks. I was on the road, driving to my happy place. :)

    Anne, thank you so much for stopping by and responding to readers' comments!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, PJ -- and thank you and Janga so much for this lovely discussion of my book. I really appreciate it. And as a reader, I have to say you two have steered me to some wonderful authors over the years, so thank you for that as well. :)

      Delete