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The Reluctant Duchess

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  908 ratings  ·  157 reviews
Perfect for fans of Mary Balogh and Eloisa James, Sharon Cullen’s seductive new historical romance ignites as a shy country girl and a hotheaded duke surrender to dangerous temptations.

Lady Sara Emerson was jolted out of her dull provincial life by her cousin’s murder. Now that the killer seems to be targeting her, Sara seeks help from the man who was once her cousin’s fia
Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Loveswept
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  908 ratings  ·  157 reviews

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Stacey is Sassy
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Duke wants the shy wallflower to be his Duchess

***3.5 Stars***

The Reluctant Duchess introduces us to The Duke of Rossmoyne and Lady Sara. Ross had been engaged to Sara's cousin Meredith before she was brutally murdered. The murderer was never caught and Ross still feels guilt 2 years after her death. Sara starts receiving threatening letters and approaches Ross to help her find the culprit. With the help of Montgomery, Ross's friend and an officer for Scotland yard, they attempt to find the
NiCoLeTa E.
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
***4 "Reluctant" stars from me***

I love historical romances and i love especially the Regency ages!!!
So when i saw this book on NetGalley, i run to grab it, even though that i wasn't very sure about it...
But i have to admit that all my fears washed away when i started to reading this story!!!

It was a lovely, pleasant book with a touch of suspence to surround it!!!
I loved the characters, i loved the plot and i really loved the atmosphere...
So, as you can imagine i couldn't put it down!!!

Sara Em
****Full Review****

3.3 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Gabriel has just returned from India where he escaped to mourn in peace his murdered fiancée. They were the "it" couple and though he was cleared of any wrong doing, he is sick of being under the microscope. When he returns, he finds his fiancée's cousin has called on him for the last five days in a row. Sara is the exact opposite of
Nov 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
*An ARC was given in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the writer and the publisher for the opportunity to read this.*

DNF@50%. I have a big problem with the overall writing, and this, I believe, is the main reason why I could not appreciate the story. The writing was just bland and uninspiring at best, and painfully simplistic at worst. I don't know about you, but I put such high importance in the quality of the prose, especially having read the works of Monica McCarty, Grace Draven, E
Lonna | FLYLēF
FLYLēF Book Reviews

Original Post: The Reluctant Duchess at FLYLēF ( with 2.5 of 5

THE RELUCTANT DUCHESS, by Sharon Cullen, is a sweet historical romance with a touch of suspense to make the heart race…but not wildly.

Lady Sara Emerson’s beloved cousin—Meredith—was tragically murdered. The crime was never solved. Two years later, Sara is jolted out of her dull life when she receives letters dredging up Meredith’s death.  Now, the killer seems to be targeting her. Determined to bring her cousin’s mur
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Reluctant Duchess by Sharon Cullen is a 2015 Loveswept publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Simply delicious! This story is a combination of mystery, suspense and historical romance which made it doubly appealing to me.

Lady Sara’s outgoing and popular cousin Meredith was murdered two years ago and the case was never solved. Now Sara is receiving weird and frightening notes which allude to her cousin’s death, suggest
John Hennessy
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a tricky book to review as I think it had already set up a high standard by saying it was for fans of Mary Balogh. I'm not one for being swayed by such things, no more than I would read a horror if it was for fans of Stephen King.

The Reluctant Duchess is a reasonably good yarn, though it never quite becomes the story it could have been. The heroine is a rather naive girl who almost turns in a demanding sexual temptress overnight. The has to be said is rather loosely defined.
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
After receiving several suspicious letters Lady Sara Emerson travels to London to see if Gabriel Ferguson, Duke of Rossmoyne would help her. Ross was once betrothed to Sara's cousin who was viciously murdered two years prior and had promised the family if they ever needed anything to contact him. He immediately contacts his friend who had investigated the murder when it seems that the letters Sara is receiving may be coming from the killer. Worrying about Sara's safety Ross insists that she move ...more
Janet Robel
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lovely historical romance with a solid mystery as the focal point. Sara isn't the meek mouse everyone thinks she is and has a strong mind of her own. Gabriel is a worthy protector for Sara. These two have great chemistry and their banter will have readers eagerly turning the pages for more. I thought young Thomas was a good secondary character and enjoyed glimpses of him throughout the story. This is an author to put on your TBR list if you're a historical romance fan.
Nov 12, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. There is a murder to solve, a killer to find and of course, romance to blossom. Sounds like an exciting story, right? It did have some really good moments, just not enough of them.

Sara is a bit of a recluse who is trying to come out of her shell. Ross is a former "party animal" who wants everyone to know that he has changed. One of the things that make this Regency story different is the lack of the typical balls and gatherings that are held so the couple can "fall in love". What prop
Sissy's Romance Book Review
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-netgalley
Sharon Cullen is another one of my favorite authors and this was another great read from her. Our heroine, Lady Sara Emerson has found that someone is out to hurt her just as they seem to have done with her cousin. Sara goes to her cousin former fiancé , Gabriel Ferguson, Duke of Rossmoyne for help. Gabriel has been out of town and overseas, so he is a little taken back by seeing Sara again and the town. Gabriel decided to help Sara but plans to go back overseas after getting her the help she ne ...more
It was an interesting story with good moments as well as parts that frustrated me. Overall, not bad.
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it

The Reluctant Duchess is an enjoyable read. I really liked this one. It has mystery, scandal, and romance. It's an exciting story with an unsolved murder, threatening letters with a love story between two unexpecting people. Sara Emerson is a shy and reserved Lady, who let her cousin's vivacious attitude outshine Sara's own beauty. Gabriel Ferguson, the Duke of Rossmoyne, was once engaged to Meredith Emerson but she was murdered in a horrible fashion two years ago. Gabriel and Meredith
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I received The Reluctant Duchess for free in exchange for an honest review.


It's hard for me to pass up a murder mystery wrapped up in a romance. Bonus points for it being a historical romance. Which is why I requested it when I saw it on NetGalley. (As I am wont to do, apparently.)

That said, it was a little difficult to get into The Reluctant Duchess, mostly because of how often we're told about Sara's social anxiety and Ross being overbearing and duke-ish. I caught glimpses of it with Sara's
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
A copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love a well written regency romance and this book did not disappoint me. This is my first time reading a Sharon Cullen historical and I really enjoyed her writing style. Sara has recently lost her cousin and it seems her killer has now set their sights on her. Fearing for her safety she seeks the protection of the Duke of Rossmoyne who was her cousin's fiancé. This story had everything I love about a good histo
Wendy F
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I’m not normally a fan fancy dress covers, in any genre, but there was something about this one that made me pause. It’s a really beautiful picture, so pretty that I didn’t even really care about the synopsis and that’s not usually my M.O.

The plot was just okay. It’s not unfortunate, and it’s not fortunate. It’s bland. It was just okay. There aren’t any spectacular reveals, nothing that I didn’t see coming, and everything that I predicted. I wish I had more to say that was profound, but the stor
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sharon Cullen has become one of my favorite historical romance authors and this book is a shining example of why. The descriptive writing truly takes you back to the time in history that each of her stories visit. The characters are so vivid and realistic that you truly feel that you've traveled through time and are getting to catch a glimpse into the parlors and homes of the people in the books. I love the strength that Sara possesses, she's not a flighty, fainting woman, she's so strong and wo ...more
Heather andrews
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I found Ross amusing at times when I shouldn't have but the way he said things in a certain way, was amusing, “I feel like a damned stallion,” he grumbled, looking away because staring at her grin was like looking into the sun. “Only good for breeding. Excuse my language.” Ross's woman knows how to rile her man and it's funny to see his reactions, "he let out a frustrated growl. “I can assure you I have not fallen and bumped my head, and no one will be calling any doctor.” Ross is at times insan
Marilyn Rondeau
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lady Sara Emerson has come to London for help. Several years ago her cousin Meredith had been brutally murdered, now Sara is receiving letters from the killer who seems to be targeting her. Sara has come to beg assistance from the man who was once Meredith’s fiancé, the Duke of Rossmoyne, Gabriel Ferguson. After the death of Meredith, he had promised that her family could always come to him for assistance. And that is exactly why Lady Sara to appealed to him.

Rossmoyne (Ross) had never paid much
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: regency, female-lead, 2015
“The Reluctant Duchess” is a novel by Sharon Cullen and honestly said I loved it, inhaled it.
One day Lady Sara Emerson seeks help but not from somebody but her cousin’s former fiancé Gabriel Ferguson, the Duke of Rossmoyne. He’s a rake nonetheless and she’s still sad because of her cousin’s sudden and unexpected death two years ago. Meredith had snuck out of her family’s townhouse and was brutally murdered.
Now, years later, Sara is receiving letters from somebody who witnessed her death or eve
I was enjoying the story as despite the setting in historical regency, the heroine was not a lady only cared about the balls, dances or any such things related to society. There was a chemistry between the main characters, but they didn't straight away act on their attractions; there was a built-up to get there.

Not to forget there was the mystery concerning the letters and a two year old unsolved murder. And the fact that our dear lady refused to stay in the background and wanted to be involved.
Gwyn Plummer
Nov 01, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars Lady Sara Emerson has been receiving disturbing letters. She doesn’t know the author, but based on the contents, she does know the person is somehow involved with her cousin’s murder. She doesn’t want to worry her father, whose care has become her number one priority since he’s been abandoned by her selfish mother, so she goes to the one other person she knows can help her.

Gabriel Ferguson, the Duke of Rossmoyne has been plagued by his fiance’s murder. When it was discovered that their
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
After the horrific murder of her cousin, Meredith, Lady Sara Emerson begins receiving chilling, anonymous letters. Since the murderer was never discovered, Sara decides to seek aid from Meredith’s former betrothed, the Duke of Rossmoyne, hoping he will help solve the riddle of the mystery writer. In the two years since Meredith’s death, Rossmoyne has been stationed in India, keeping his mind off of Meredith and her family. But now he has been summoned home to London by the queen and must adjust ...more
Susan Parkes
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book that I have read by Sharon Cullen and I loved her writing style so will be looking out for her other books now.

This story is about Lady Sara Emerson and Gabriel Ferguson, Duke of Rossmoyne, Rossmoyne was engaged to Lady Sara's cousin Meredith until she was murdered 2 years ago, after this he left to work in India and has just returned home to find Sara has been calling for the last 5 days. The reason for her to call upon him was because she has been receiving letters that
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absorbing Victorian romance!

I knew this was going to be a five star read right from the opening pages. Mystery, murder and mayhem, my three favourite 'm's. Indeed I mostly smiled all the way through. Lady Sara Emerson has come to London to ask the help of her dead cousin’s fiancé, Gabriel Ferguson, Duke of Rossmoyne. Her cousin Meredith had been fiendishly murdered two years ago and now someone was sending Sara scary letters that could be from the murderer.
Recently returned from a two year stint
Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks

After the violent murder of her cousin, Lady Sara Emerson begins receiving letters from the alleged perpetrator. Not knowing any other way to solve the mystery of who is sending the letters, Sara seeks out her deceased cousin's fiance, Gabriel Ferguson, the Duke of Rossmoyne. When Ross discovers the goings on he takes Sara into his protection in order to get to the bottom of his lost love's murder. Sara is nothing like Meredith, but that doesn't stop Ross from noticing Sara for who she is.

Sara p
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
*** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ***
Lady Sara Emerson and Gabriel Ferguson, the Duke of Rossmoyne are trying to solve a mystery that has thrown them together again.
Sara knew Gabriel, but she really didn’t know “know” him. She knew that he said he would help if they (her parents and her) ever needed anything. Well, now she needs him. Her cousin’s unsolved murder is surfacing again. And the Duke, she thinks, is only one that can help her.
Aug 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked the story but there were instances when my interest stopped. Now don't get me wrong, it was a good romance entwined with a mystery.
Lady Sara Emerson is getting threatening letters from an unknown source and she's upset. Her cousin was murdered two years earlier and Sara's getting very spooked. She heads to see Gabriel Ferguson, Duke of Rossmonyne, who was once betrothed to her late cousin. Gabriel decides to put Sara under his protection at his residence. He has his own agenda in the wo
Lisa Fallon
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: regency, r2r, favs
I'm a sucker for a good recency romance and I have to say this was right up there as one of my favourites.

I love Sara on impact, from the moment she refused to leave Ross alone, when she wouldn't back down and take no for an answer, when she was laughing at him and didn't try to hide it I loved her.
Ross was also loveable from the get go although he's moody and sullen, he dose have another side to him, that's funny,caring and so bloody loveable I just think it took the right woman to bring it out
Margaret Sholders
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sharon hit this book out of the park. I couldn't put it down. It was an easy read even though it was fairly long. She made this book so realistic. Some books are like "yeah, like that could happen". She has developed her people into someone you would like to have as friends. I am so glad to add this book to my favorites! Sara is the epitome of a wallflower. She detests Balls and crowds. Ross has been a Duke since he was 14. There is a murder here as he was engaged to her cousin, the victim. Ther ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jun 20, 2015 12:56PM  
  • A Whisper of Desire (The Disgraced Lords, #4)
  • You're the Earl That I Want (The Lords of Worth, #3)
  • Ravishing Ruby (Bound and Determined, #3)
  • Destined for a King (The Bastard Brotherhood, #1)
  • Deeper In Sin (The Wicked Dukes, #2)
  • Once a Rake (Drakes Rakes, #4)
  • Miss Winthorpe's Elopement (Belston & Friends, #1)
  • How To Lose A Lord In 10 Days Or Less (Tricks Of The Ton, #3)
  • The Dutiful Rake
  • To Steal a Heart (Secrets and Spies, #1)
  • Wife in the Shadows
  • A Reckless Desire (Breconridge Brothers, #3)
  • When She Was Wicked (Honeycote, #1)
  • Sleight of Hand
  • All I Want For Christmas is a Duke
  • Brash (Regency Fling, #4.5)
  • I Dared the Duke (The Wayward Wallflowers, #2)
  • The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn (The Order of the MUSE, #3)
After earning a degree in journalism from Ohio University, Sharon found the stories inside her head were more interesting than what was going on in the world around her. Yet, it wasn’t until years later that she decided to pursue her secret dream of writing a romance novel. Since then she’s been published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance and historical romance.