Thursday, November 4, 2021

Review & Giveaway - - Rules for Heiresses

Rules for Heiresses
by Amalie Howard
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Reviewed by PJ

Sometimes, finding love means flouting the rules...

Born to a life of privilege, Lady Ravenna Huntley rues the day that she must marry. She's refused dozens of suitors and cried off multiple betrothals, but running away—even if brash and foolhardy—is the only option left to secure her independence.

Lord Courtland Chase, grandson of the Duke of Ashvale, was driven from England at the behest of his cruel stepmother. Scorned and shunned, he swore never to return to the land of his birth. But when a twist of bad luck throws a rebellious heiress into his arms, at the very moment he finds out he's the new Duke, marriage is the only alternative to massive scandal.

Both are quick to deny it, but a wedding might be the only way out for both of them. And the attraction that burns between them makes Ravenna and Courtland wonder if it'll truly only be a marriage of convenience after all...

PJ's Thoughts:

I adored this book. It grabbed me from the first scene and held my attention to the very end. Howard has created a fast-paced story with an intriguing plot, layered characters, dastardly villains, and a hard-earned happy ending. It's filled with snappy banter, steamy chemistry, complex family dynamics, deep emotion that travels from fraught to sweet, and two childhood friends who, as adults, really seem destined for one another...even if it takes them a while to realize it. 

I love a heroine who colors outside the lines and Ravenna certainly does that and more. When we first meet her she's disguised as a man, playing cards at a gaming establishment in Antigua after running from an unwanted suitor in London and stowing away aboard one of her brother's ships. She's smart, savvy, capable, and adventurous enough to defy the restrictions placed upon women of her time but has tender and vulnerable layers within her as well, especially as pertains to her evolving relationship with Courtland. 

Talk about layers. Our hero has layers upon layers and has kept them tightly locked for the past decade or so. It's only when Ravenna comes crashing back into his life at the same time he's declared the new duke that fissures begin to appear, allowing some of those deeply-held emotions and vulnerabilities to surface even though he fights it every step of the way. He's a ruthless, highly successful businessman with a suppressed sweetness at his core. I really loved his evolution.

As with her previous book, The Princess Stakes (Ravenna's brother Rhystan and Princess Sarani Rao), Rules for Heiresses features a biracial lead character (Courtland) and the impact of his parentage both within his family and society at large. Howard draws on a lot of her own personal experiences in creating this character and it shows in the authenticity of both Courtland's own feelings and how he's perceived, and treated, by others. One of the facets of Ravenna's character that I most enjoyed was how she sees him as a whole person, judging him on his actions rather than his appearance, and embracing all parts of him. The ballroom scene where she confronts someone who is not his ally is one of my favorites in the book. 

Rules for Heiresses can absolutely be enjoyed as a standalone novel. However, characters from The Princess Stakes have key roles in this new book and reading the previous one (either before or after) will only enhance one's enjoyment and understanding of all the characters. I enthusiastically recommend them both. 

I don't know what Howard has planned next but I'm fervently hoping she has plans to return to this world. Courtland's half-sister is begging for a story of her own. And I'm begging on her behalf. 

Do you enjoy heroines in disguise? Do you have any favorites?

Have you read Amalie Howard yet?

One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, November 5 will receive a print copy of Rules for Heiresses.

*Must be 18

*U.S. only

*Void where prohibited


  1. I'm afraid I haven't read her as yet.

  2. I haven't read this author but heroine in disguise is intriguing and fascinating.

  3. This author is amazing and I enjoy reading about a heroine in disguise. A novel which was captivating was a novel by Lynsay Sands.

  4. I Love Amalie Howard's books! This series has been wonderful and I agree about Courtland's half sister needing her own book!

  5. I have not read Ms. Howard...yet. :)

  6. I have read one of her books This looks like a great book!

  7. I don't believe I have read any of her books. I checked her Amazon page ad I have missed what appear to be some good books. Heroines in disguise are always fun. Assuming the disguise of a male or someone of another class affords them much more latitude in their behavior and can get them into so much trouble. Thank you for the review and the giveaway.

  8. I haven't read Amalie Howard yet - this looks like a good one to stat with - I do enjoy stories about marriage to avoid scandal where the couple are attracted to each other.

  9. Looking forward to this one! The only book I’ve read by Amalie Howard so far is The Beast of Beswick and I enjoyed it

  10. I have read heroines in disguise and enjoyed them though I can’t think of a title now. I have not yet read this author.

  11. I do like heroines in disguise. I like Eloisa James' Wilde Child. I have not yet read Amalie's books.

  12. I really like reading books like this set in this time period. There was so much structure and such rigid rules for women I really like to read about a woman setting her own path. And this is a fun story.

  13. New author
    Disguises- Jane Feather An Unsuitable Bride
    Catherine Coulter had one in her bBride series where the girl disguised herself as a boy
    Johanna Lindsay had a girl serve as the ship captain’s mate in his cabin one of the Mallory books