Runaway heiress, Lady Ravenna Huntley, has found a whole new world living as Raven Hunt in Antigua – free to live independently and way from the suitors who are only interested in her dowry.
Lord Courtland Chase has made a new home for himself in Antigua after his cruel stepmother sent him away at 14. Now the death of his grandfather, and a clever minx with an inky beard, are forcing him to return to English society and take on the mantle of Duke of Ashton – with his new bride.
A romantic adventure filled with understanding, acceptance and love – Amalie Howard’s Rules of Heiresses is an engaging companion piece to The Princess Stakes.
What I liked: The romance and rebuilding of estranged familial relationships was very sweet and was pivotal to the strength of Courtland. He had found his mother’s family in Antigua and found a place where he was accepted and could give back to the community – unlike the scorn he received from his step-mother for being mixed-race and having an Islander for a mother.
Howard mentions in the Author’s Note that as a mixed-race woman of West Indian descent, born in the Caribbean she wanted to write from her own experience. She researched into the history of colonialism and British rule in the West Indies and hopes to be one of many diverse voices using their experiences to write rich stories for the world.
What I didn’t like: I feel like Rawley was a tragically underused character. Courtland spends a lot of exposition on how important his cousin is – he eased his acceptance into the community on the island, he is his right-hand man, he even returns to England and supports of the Dukes of Ashton and Embry to catch a slaver/smuggler. Yet while he often grins discreetly, or shows amusement around his face, he does not often speak.
Such an important figure in Courtland’s life should be his go-to for conversation, for bouncing ideas off – and instead those conversations are had with Embry and the Earl of Waterstone. He felt like a missed opportunity.
Despite feeling like the intention, it did not feel like race played a significant role in this story – it felt like more of a prop to be used whenever the plot needed to include conflict between Courtland and Ravenna, and as a reason for why he left England at such a young age. While it is clear his stepmother used his heritage against him in order to promote her own son, it didn’t really seem to impact the story – except to set Courtland and Ravenna up to meet in Antigua.
Conclusion: An easy read, some very steamy moments and an easy conclusion to conflict.