Book Review for The Impoverished Dowry by Emily E. K. Murdoch
The Impoverished Dowry is the second book in The de Petras Saga, starring Coral de Petras, although we get plenty from her sisters Sapphire and Emerald. As their fathers’ ships sink and the family no longer has the money for multiple dowries, Coral decides that marrying a wealthy man who doesn’t care about how much money she has might fix things. Of course, things go a little south when she starts falling for the duke, whom she had originally deemed unsuitable!
While The de Petras Saga is planned to be around 5 books, this book comes out on the 14th of June. It will be available on Kindle Unlimited as I suspect the rest of the series will be! It’s published by Dragonblade Publishing, which is a woman-owned, woman-run boutique publisher that specializes in Historical Romance.
The actual review part
I’ve been told that it’s sometimes not clear if I’m recommending a book or not, so let me start off by saying that I recommend the book, and I’m leaving it 4 out of 5 stars!
I picked out The Impoverished Dowry because I love romance novels and this one had a terrific cover! It’s acknowledged in the book that Coral’s gowns are old-fashioned, but when they look that good who cares? This is a take on the historical fiction genre where we have a woman, Opal, who functions as the head of the family, and not just because her husband isn’t there, but because that’s their family tradition. It was interesting how that plays out for Micah and Coral because they’re still subject to the society around them even if their family is a little different. It was different to see a story play out from the duke’s point of view; he was the main for me in this more than Coral even though we did get her point of view.
I was a bit taken aback by the advert Coral placed; that may not seem too out of place now (you do now see things like that in the newspaper). While I was reading How Sex Changed the Internet by Samantha Cole (incidentally also a NetGalley read), I came across the story of Helen Morrison who placed an advertisement for a husband in 1727 and was put in an asylum for a month! I understand that regency England technically started around 1795, but everything I’ve read tells me that this would have still been considered out there, especially for a family that was considered part of the ton! And while I think it’s great that she was so clear about what she wanted, I wish she had thought this through a little given that she was doing it for her family, and it had consequences for them (as we hear from Micah).
The conflict was cute, and I like that they overcame her list and the general good fortune at the end. I’m curious to see what happens to Emerald and Micah in the next few books! I also love the development at the end, which I’m betting will be the main thing in the fifth book!
In case you’re interested
Here’s an article about a woman who placed an advert for a husband in Texas in 1888. I too would like someone to support me.
Blurb for The Impoverished Dowry
Coral de Petras is on the hunt for the perfect husband, and she doesn’t care who knows it.
In her third Season and with the shock of her father’s shipping business collapsing in disaster, Coral makes the hard decision to forgo a love match and fall back on the plan she had as a child.
Marry for money.
But if Coral’s giving up a love match, she doesn’t just want to settle for any gentleman: she has a list. A list of all the qualities she will demand from her future husband—and publishes it in all the newspapers.
A chance introduction with a duke (sadly not fulfilling all the points on her list) throws her completely off balance. Her dowry is gone, but doesn’t that mean she should demand the absolute best?
The Duke of Glaenarm is handsome, charming, devilishly devoted to her. And imperfect. Damn. At least, that is what Edward Barlow, Duke of Glaenarm, is informed by Coral at Almack’s.
Amused by the fiery haired beauty who demands a husband who meets her lofty and unrealistic expectations, Edward decides to trick her into affection for him—proving that even if she believes him imperfect, she can fall in love.
But the more time they spend discussing her potential suitors, neither Coral nor Edward can control the desire pulling them together—and as the de Petras family’s outrageous behavior continues to threaten their respectability, it’s becoming more and more difficult for Coral to understand what she wants from life.
A respectable, boring, wealthy suitor who completes her list…or an imperfect duke that makes her feel alive?
This full-length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order, but is best enjoyed in sequence.
The de Petras Saga
Book 1 – The Misplaced Husband
Book 2 – The Impoverished Dowry
Book 3 – The Contrary Debutante
Book 4 – The Determined Mistress
Book 5 – The Convenient Engagement