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Review – Her Grace

Posted in Book Blogger

Her Grace: A Pride & Prejudice Vagary

by Shana Granderson A Lady

Cover: Her Grace by Shana Granderson

Genres: Regency Historical Romance, Regency Romances
Release Date: December 26, 2023
Pages: 406 pages
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

***Warning: There are parts of this book which allude to domestic abuse, although there is not any graphic depiction of said violence.***

This a full length novel of about 115,000 words.

This is not a P&P variation, rather is is a vagary which features the characters from that magnificent work by the one and only Jane Austen.

Rather than protect their daughter like any good parent should, first Fanny and then Thomas Bennet push their 16 year old daughter Elizabeth into a marriage with a much older man who happens to be a duke.

Fanny is seduced by the fact he is a duke, even if he is not interested in Jane, something she cannot believe at first, and his willingness to dower her remaining four daughters. For Bennet when the Duke offers to break the entail on Longbourn, after a certain condition is met, his half-hearted opposition to the match dissipates.

At first, Elizabeth refuses to marry the man, and is adamant even if dragged to the church she will never recite her vows. However, after a private meeting with the vile duke, she agrees. The question is why would she change her mind so drastically.

In that meeting, she demands certain clauses to be added to the marriage settlement. What are they and how do they change outcomes some had previously expected?

We explore why the Duke is looking for a wife outside of the Ton in little market towns instead. We quickly see just how depraved the man is and why he is reviled by all in polite society. Is he the only villain in the tale?

Both Lady Anne and Robert Darcy are alive in this novel. Even with them both being alive, their son manages to suffer from boot-in-mouth syndrome on more than one occasion, including when he meets Lizzy for the first time, who is still married to the Duke at that point. No it is not at an assembly and there is not that insult delivered.

Including the much loved Biggs and Johns, there are some of my non-canon characters featured in this story, as well as some new ones.

It is not an easy path for Lizzy to travel, but she is strong and intelligent, not to mention extremely protective of those she loves. We follow her to find out if she gets the HEA we all want for her. If she does, will it be with Fitzwilliam Darcy?
Join me to have these and many other questions answered.


**Potential spoiler in this paragraph** I want to start with the most important item. I don’t consider this a spoiler, but some might. No likable characters are harmed in any way in this story. If I had known that when I started reading, this would have been a much more relaxed book. Because I didn’t know that up front, I felt like I was doing the reading version of watching a horror movie through my fingers. I kept checking the percentage of the book remaining and trying to mentally calculate how much time Elizabeth had left before her guaranteed safety ran out.

With that out of the way, I truly enjoyed Her Grace. Unlike many other Shana Granderson books I’ve read, this one was blessedly free of errors. However, like her other books, all of the “villain” characters received their just desserts.

In the Duke of Hertfordshire, Ms. Granderson has managed to create an absolutely vilely repugnant creature. I was rooting for his downfall almost from the first page. It’s a shame it took so long for it to happen, but, I applaud Ms. Granderson for coming up with such a perfect way to handle him.

If you read between the lines, then you can figure out the Duke’s end before it happens. It’s also precisely the ending for him you’re rooting for. Even better: his end comes with a satisfying and believable redemption for Wickham; and no one other than the Duke himself comes to harm.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, while not on the Duke’s level, were also unlikeable. Mrs. Bennet, for her treatment of her middle daughters and her attitude; Mr. Bennet for his inaction. They both received fitting ends, as well.

As usual with Ms. Granderson’s books, the extended Darcy and Fitzwilliam families are perfectly friendly and down-to-earth. In Her Grace, Ms. Granderson extends that perfection to the Queen, who offers her approval and protection to Elizabeth immediately upon meeting her.

Fitzwilliam Darcy was, as we tend to expect, rather inept. In Her Grace, this manifests in him speaking before thinking and regularly jumping to the wrong conclusion.

While on the topic of Darcy, both of his parents are alive in Her Grace, which is always a nice plus.

While the Duke keeps Her Grace from being a truly enjoyable read, I like the story. It comes to a happy and satisfying conclusion, with everyone getting what they deserve.

About the Author

I have three children and after a disastrous first marriage I found my soul mate who I thought that was lost to me over 25 years ago. I recently married the love of my life. I live with my soul mate in Australasia and have three pets, two cats, Darcy and Bingley and a golden lab, Honey.

Like many high school students, Pride and Prejudice was assigned to me in an English literature class. It was not my favourite book, but I read it as I had to. I forgot about the book until in my 30’s when I saw and fell in love with the 1995 Pride and Prejudice version made for TV in England, and purchased a copy of the DVD that is now much played.

The tipping point was the 2005 big screen adaption of P&P. Not long after seeing it I found and read the complete works of Jane Austen on Amazon, starting with Pride and Prejudice. The latter book is by far my favourite. After I read it three of four times over, I wistfully said to myself: ‘it is a great pity that Miss Austen never wrote a sequel to her seminal novel.’ One day I was searching Kindle books and for the fun of it I entered “Pride and Prejudice Sequel’ into the search not expecting any results.

The rest is history. I discovered the JAFF community and books. I became a veracious reader of JAFF books and once I had devoured all of the sequels and continuations that I could find, I read my first variation. I had been resisting variations wrongly thinking that I would not enjoy them as much as the sequels. Boy, was I ever wrong! Today I am the proud owner of well over 1,000 JAFF novels that I have purchased on Amazon. ‘A Change of Fortunes’ is my first book that I wrote. There are a number of others on the way.

Author links: Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

NOTE: This review is based on an eBook I borrowed from Amazon on January 4, 2024 as part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

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