ARC ISBN: 9780061934995
Source of my copy: From author for review
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
After a lifetime of unrequited love with her arranged fiancé, Anne Danvers has finally become the Duchess of Waverly. But just a few days into her marriage, her husband vanishes. Rhys Carlisle, Duke of Waverly has spent his life knowing he was better than everyone else because of his impeccable bloodline.
But when he finds out everything he was told was a lie and he is in actuality a bastard son of the late Duke of Billingham, his world is destroyed. He never expects his new wife to chase after him or demand she not be written out of his life. Nor does he expect the passion he feels for her to transform into love. But even as the two grow closer, Rhys’s dark secret looms in the distance, along with a blackmailer who could destroy any future Rhys and Anne have dared to dream.
Rhys Carlisle is on top of the world--he is rich, he's the Duke of Waverly and he just married his long-time betrothed Lady Anne Danvers, the perfect society debutante and now the perfect wife and hostess. His world came crashing down when he learned that he is actually the bastard son of the late Duke of Billingham and worse, a blackmailer is threatening to expose his secret. After years of looking down his nose at those lower in the ranks and titles than he, only to find he is lower than low, Rhys couldn't deal and ran away. What he didn't count on is his new wife following him. As he and Anne spend time together "roughing it" at a sea side cottage, Rhys comes to learn that there may be more to his wife than he first thought and they could actually have more than a polite society marriage but is it too late?
The Unclaimed Duchess is the first e-book I read in its entirety, which says a lot. I've read only one other book from the author before this book and I really liked Lessons from a Courtesan so I couldn't wait to read this book. Like Lessons, I quite enjoyed Unclaimed and it's a quick, spicy read. Once I started reading, I wanted to keep going because the story was quite interesting and I wanted to see what will happen next. The author writes in a straightforward manner, with few side stories (if any) so the focus was always on Anne and Rhys, which I really liked. I thought Anne was very likable--the kind of heroine you'd want to be your friend. I didn't like Rhys in the beginning because he was quite arrogant and proud but he does change and you kinda feel for him in the end.
Unclaimed is the second book in the author's Billingham Bastards series but it can be read as a standalone. I was very intrigued by the couple in the first book, What the Duke Desires so I immediately ordered that book after reading this one. If you haven't read Jenna Petersen yet, you should definitely give her a try--I'm enjoying everything I've read by her so far. 4 out 5 stars
**The Unclaimed Duchess is out in stores on August 31, 2010.