Lay Vivian Defies a Duke is the fourth book in Grace's Beau Monde series.
Lady Vivian Worth has resigned herself to an arranged marriage with Luke Forest, the Duke of Foxhaven. She's never met the man, and sees him as the best way out of the convent her uptight sibling has threatened her with. See, she is a bit of a free spirit and some of her antics have gotten her into a tight spot. She'll be sure to be on her best behavior so the Duke has no reason to back out of the agreement. Her best intentions go awry, when Vivian gets caught in an unladylike situation, by her betrothed.
Luke Forest is looking for a way out of the marriage contract. He has come to break the news to Vivian, and ends up being charmed by her delightful personality. He realizes that she could be the right woman for him and decides to follow through with the betrothal. But Vivian's past reveals a nasty secret that could ruin their future.
I enjoyed this historical romance. It got off to a rather humorous start that caught my attention. However, it stumbled a bit in the middle. I got stuck and almost put it down at one point. The problem for me was a lack of conflict, which allowed my attention to wander. Then along came a blackmailer (a rather nasty person) and a jealous "relative", and the pace picked back up again.
In a nutshell, I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as I'd expected. However, I am by no means done with this author, and will be sure to try the next installment in the series.
Lady Vivian Worth knows perfectly well how to behave like a lady. But observing proper manners when no one is around to impress is just plain silly. When Luke Forest, the newly named Duke of Foxhaven, arrives early to visit his bride-to-be, he catches Vivian acting most unladylike—in her chemise. Though amused by her unconventional ways, Luke hadn't planned on marrying such a sprightly and opinionated lady. He'll just have to find her another husband. But can he stand to see the vivacious woman in the arms of someone else?