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    no dukes, just gentlemen

    Three friends share a residence in Brighton, each one of their own reason. All three are duchesses and had their issues with dukes, the ton and men, still have in fact. Avoiding unwanted attention, they fight for what is important to them. “Genie” is butting head with Adam, who happens to build a gentlemen’s club in her street, bothering her with the noise. Genie seeks refuge in Brighton only to be bothered by a man who blackmails her in order to get his hands on her money. Adam, not of title, is a pleasant company and he could help her as she could help him, couldn’t they? Diana is our second heroine, secretly pining for Oliver, who is now back, but not in reach, because he is already engaged to one of her friends, Hannah. Comical how he searches for her and she does everything to avoid him. Then we have a very annoying man pursuing Diana.Backwards and forwards it goes with these two. Belinda is, you could say, harassed by a duke who is convinced that she will become his duchess and so is the ton. He is quite mean in order to achieve his goal. Matthew, her old flame comes back and is ruining her dreams for the hospital. His plans for it collide with hersand we have a battle of wills and power. Thank you for hero’s who are no dukes and for most not of the ton’s cream. All three stories where nice reads. What I missed a bit had been an overall arch. While the three ladies share a house and claim to be friends, we have little action over their stories. For most the heroines deal with their own issues in their story and the others are just mentioned. I would have liked more interaction and support from friends, but besides that, nice reads.
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    Grace Burrowes novella was the best in my opinion

    A trio of historical novellas featuring three widowed women spending the season in Brighton: Eugenia (Genie) Dowager Duchess of Tindale; Belinda Duchess of Winchester (the Double Duchess); and Diana Thompson. Architect of My Dreams by Grace Burrowes This book starts in London when Genie's peace is shattered by the noisy building works in the house next door. She confronts the new owner Adam Morecambe in a spirited exchange before heading to Brighton. They meet again by chance in Brighton where Adam, who is an architect, is looking for a house to establish a sister club to the one he is renovating in London, these clubs are for wealthy men, like himself, who are refused entry to the normal men's clubs which are reserved for the aristocracy. Adam and Genie enjoy each others company and Genie is happy to get entry for Adam to various buildings for him to enjoy the architectural features. Rather to the surprise of both of them, they start an affair. However, Genie is being blackmailed by the Marquis of Dunstable and he has the ability to ruin Adam as well. Very enjoyable, loved Adam, loved the clever resolution of the plot, Grace Burrowes at her best. Four stars. Pursuit of Honor by Kelly Bowen Diana Thompson and Oliver Graham (youngest son of Viscount Hambleton) have been friends for many years, since they were children. He left England to make his fortune in India ten years ago and the two of them have corresponded ever since. Despite their friendship, Oliver is promised to Diana's BFF Hannah Burton. Having returned to England, Oliver discovers that his beloved sister Madelene is not, as he believed, in Boston but has been ostracised by his parents and siblings after becoming pregnant. His only clue is a letter from Brighton and so he travels there, only to run into his old friend Diana. Diana is a wealthy widow, after eight years gentlemen are waging bets on who will marry/ bed the wealthy widow and the Duke of Riddington is a firm favourite, helped no doubt by his own rumours that they are already lovers. This felt very much like a comedy of errors novella. Diana and Oliver are in love but Oliver is promised to Hannah. Hannah is desperate to avoid Oliver and Diana is desperate to avoid the Duke of Riddington. I enjoyed this, although not as much as the first novella. Three and a half stars. The Double Duchess by Anna Harrington Belinda Collins, the dowager Duchess of Winchester is being pursued by the Duke of Pomperly - this has earned her the nickname 'The Double Duchess'. Following her husband's death she has taken on many of his responsibilities, including being on the board of a veteran's hospital. Ten years ago Belinda was in love with Maxwell Thorpe but was forced to marry for money to clear her family’s debts. Now Maxwell is in Brighton charged with building a new training centre for recruits on the site of the veteran’s hospital. Sorry, tried again and still couldn't get into this third novella, DNF.
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    4 stars

    This review is for The Double Duchess by Anna Harrington. Once I read the rest, I will update this review. Belinda had to marry a Duke to save her family from her father’s debts. Now she is a widow and a Duchess. She has devoted all her life and effort to attend and take care of the pensioners from the veterans’ hospital. Maxwell has been all his life in love with Belinda but he had to say no to her because he has no means to support her. Now things are different and he wants to grab the second chance at love that life grants him. I liked the book. Both characters are good people, honest and caring. I loved the end, the solution to the hospital versus academy problem. It was absolutely perfect.

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