The Discerning Gentleman's Guide

Virginia Heath
The Discerning Gentleman's Guide
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Release Date
November 2016
Historical Romance

"Choosing a wife is not a task that should be undertaken lightly." 
Bennett Montague, sixteenth Duke of Aveley, is seeking the perfect bride. He's narrowed his search to five worthy "Potentials"…until the arrival of his aunt's companion unravels his carefully laid plans. 
Having fought for everything she has, Amelia Mansfield is incensed by Bennett's wife-selection methods. But as she's forced to spend time in his company, she begins to see another side to Bennett—and that man is infinitely more tantalizing and enticing…

Book Review by Blue (reviewer)
Aug 21, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
113 people found the following review helpful
Amelia Mansfield has no love for titled society gentlemen, and with very good reason. She was born the privileged daughter of a viscount, but when her mother couldn't produce another child, an heir, he found a way to have the marriage annulled. Amelia and her mother were then literally cast out, with no money, no home, and Amelia is now considered illegitimate. Forced to live in the slums, and eventually, the workhouse, Amelia's mother became ill and died. Amelia managed to survive, and eventually became lucky enough to be hired as a companion to Lady Worsted, aunt to a duke. All of Amelia's spare time, energy, and money is directed to helping the poor and aiding causes that will help improve their living and working conditions.

Bennett Montague, Duke of Aveley, is a member of His Majesty's Council, and a focused, hard-working politician. He's dedicated to improve England for all people, not just the wealthy. But he's also a lonely man, and he believes it's time he found a wife. Unfortunately, his way of going about that is to draw up a list of qualifications, based on advice from his late father, which he published in a booklet called "The Discerning Gentleman's Guide for Selecting the Perfect Bride." Much to his chagrin, the booklet has become extremely popular, and the finalists among his potential brides tend to quote the book regularly at book clubs and poetry readings.

When Lady Worsted comes for her annual visit with her nephew, Bennett, she brings Amelia with her. Upon introduction, Bennett and Amelia are both taken aback by their strong physical reaction to each other. Amelia has no use for titled men, no matter how handsome, and Bennett needs to focus on an aristocratic lady who can aid his career. Amelia is not shy, and she's quick to take Bennett to task about his views. She doesn't kowtow to him, and Bennett finds her challenges stimulating. Amelia comes to see that Bennett's heart and intentions are in the right place, but his privileged life doesn't give him all the facts. So she takes him to the seediest part of town, the one she was forced to live in.

Amelia and Bennett are two admirable characters who deserve happiness, even though that might seem impossible. Amelia's history was very tragic, but she has to open her eyes to the fact that all titled men aren't like her father. Bennett also has to do some soul searching to decide if the career he's pursuing is his dream or his late father's. THE DISCERNING GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE is a truly romantic book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I recommend it for historical romance fans who enjoy strong, sympathetic, intelligent characters in a well paced and captivating story.

4.5 stars
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