ARC Review: Rules for Heiresses by Amalie Howard

About the Book:

Title: Rules for Heiresses

Author: Amalie Howard

Page Length: 312

Publication Date: Oct. 26, 2021

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Synopsis: Amalie Howard whisks you away with a historical romance full of drama, true love, and the perfect happily ever after.

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 Ashton, 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…

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   

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My Review:

Rules for Heiresses is a unique historical romance that follows Ravenna Huntley and Courtland Chase, childhood friends who haven’t seen each other in ten years. Ravenna has run away from England and many unwanted marriage proposals in an effort to avoid a loveless marriage and the stifling of her independence. Posing as a man, Ravenna is accused of cheating at a gambling hall in Antigua, and when threatened with imprisonment by the owner, must reveal herself as a woman.

Courtland is stunned when the man he suspected of cheating is not only a woman but also his childhood friend (and former betrothed) Ravenna. Driven from England by his stepmother, Courtland has made a good life for himself and swore he’d never return to England and the people who rejected him. However, when the pair is caught in a compromising situation, marriage is their only solution, and when Courtland learns he is now a duke, their return to England is inevitable. Now the couple must face old wounds, new enemies, and a growing affection for each other and decide if their marriage is more than just one of convenience.

Ravenna is a unique and passionate woman who refuses to submit to the confining rules of high society. She is her own woman, independent, self-assured, and very much ahead of her time. Ravenna thirsts for adventure and is determined to live her life the way she pleases. I love that she doesn’t bow to the dictates of society and instead fights for what she believes in.

Why should men have all the adventure and women be forced to sit at home tending the hearth? We are not possessions or brainless biddable toys designed for male consumption.

Courtland, a man who is judged for his race and often treated differently because of it, is cold and calculating. Emotionally closed off, he wears a mask and keeps himself at a distance from others so he can’t be hurt as he was in the past. Ravenna is one of the few that Courtland lets in, and watching Ravenna slowly break through his walls is fantastic. She remembers the boy she grew up with, and she sees the wonderful, passionate man beneath the mask.

I love the romance between Courtland and Ravenna. Betrothed childhood friends who haven’t seen each other in years, Ravenna and Courtland have explosive chemistry. I also love the way that Courtland accepts Ravenna unconditionally. He admires her fiery and independent spirit, as well as her curiosity and rebellious ways. He also treats her as an equal. She is his partner and he respects her opinions and feelings. Ravenna’s unwavering support and acceptance of Courtland are equally lovely. I also really like when they talk about their times together as children. They share a long history of friendship, and that bond develops into an epic love story. Both characters are searching for a place where they feel like they belong, and I love that they find it in each other.

Like the first book, the author highlights many issues experienced during this time, especially sexism and racism. Ravenna struggles with the burden of being the perfect English lady as it takes away her independence. Courtland experiences terrible racism and prejudice. Both characters are judged harshly by an unforgiving, intolerant, and harmful society. I like that the author addresses these topics, and I found the Author’s Note at the end of the book, which discusses the inclusion of them, very interesting.

I enjoyed this story as much as I did The Princess Stakes, which focuses on Ravenna’s brother. It has well-developed and interesting characters, strong messages, action and adventure, and a wonderful love story, and I would definitely recommend it to lovers of historical romance. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Casablanca, and Amalie Howard for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • Strong themes.

Favorite Lines:

Marriage brought with it its own traps, even when couched in pleasure or passion.

I will always value your opinion.

We’re sharp square-cut pegs trying to fit into smooth, round holes. That doesn’t make us unworthy, it just makes us different.

Here he was, coming to her rescue like a knight in the rustiest armor imaginable.


Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review of the first book The Princess Stakes.

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