5.01.2014

Review: Her Grace In Disgrace by Claudia Harbaugh







Title: Her Grace In Disgrace
Series: The Widows of Woburn Place #1
Author: Claudia Harbaugh
Publication Date: June 20, 2013
Publisher: Createspace
Genre: Regency Romance
Pages: 262
Rating:

Synopsis (from Author): Reginald Aiken, Duke of Warwick is dead and his young widow is not grieving…until the will is read.
Isobel Kennilworth Aiken, Duchess of Warwick spent 6 years of her young life in a loveless marriage. Now, at the age of 24, Isobel is a widow. As Isobel awaits the reading of her late husband’s last will and testament, she feels no grief, but in fact is quite hopeful. She is eager to start her life anew. But, as the droning of the solicitor’s voice washes over her detailing the bequests to various servants and family members, a shock awaits her. The "other woman" was not his mistress, but his lawfully wedded wife and together they had a son. Six year old Reggie is now the Duke of Warwick, displacing Reginald’s brother Charles. 
There is a collective gasp as the revelation is made that instantly cuts off Isobel and Charles and 
dashes their hopes for the future. Isobel must indeed start again, not as a titled, influential and wealthy widow, but as plain Miss Kennilworth, tainted by scandal, something to be avoided at all costs in Regency England. Can she get past the disgrace and humiliation she has endured and fight her way back into society? Will she find love again with her childhood sweetheart, Andrew Stafford, former vicar, now Lord Saybrooke? Or perhaps she will rekindle the romance with Jeremy Ingles, Lord Westcott, who had caught her fancy at her come out six years earlier, but had not been ready to be leg shackled. 
But before Isobel can 
find true love, she must come to grips with her past mistakes and the people she has hurt along the way. She must discover who she is without the title of duchess to her name.

 



Claudia has had a love of "story" for as long as she can remember. Reading has always been a passion for her. Writing began a bit later in life. She has written and performed in numerous plays that have been produced by amateur drama groups in Rochester, NY and Yorktown, VA. She has been happily married to John since 1981 and together they have two daughters. She is also the proud grandmother of three amazing boys! Her faith, family and love of spinning stories are the heart of who she is. Her Grace in Disgrace is her first novel and the first book in a planned series: The Widows of Woburn Place.




If you're a fan of Regency Romance, this book is for you! Claudia Harbaugh is the essence of eloquence and regal prose. I had so much fun reading this book. This is the first Indie author I've stumbled upon who has written a regency romance and I wish there were more out there!

We hit the ground running at the funeral of Reginald Aiken, Duke of Warwick. Oddly, his widow does not seem to be grieving. Honestly, it was very difficult to like the main character, but I found this kind of refreshing. The main character was selfish and a conniving, especially in the beginning of the book, but in a way it added to the tone of the story and allowed an interesting plot line. We get to watch the two main characters rediscover their true selves, thus also becoming much more likable.

Harbaugh writes very similar to a contemporary version of Jane Austen (which I love!). This story is quite akin to Jane Austen's Emma. I do wish that she included more wit in her writing, as that would have made reading even more enjoyable and a more humorous story. There were also times that it seemed a bit wordy, but the language was fairly consistent throughout the book and that can prove to be difficult for authors. However, I did enjoy it and I am looking forward to reading more in this series!