Blinded By Grace by Becky Lower

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Blinded By Grace by Becky Lower
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (199 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Bluet

In 1858 New York City, Halwyn Fitzpatrick thinks he’s off the hook for attendance at the annual Cotillion Ball. He has no sister to shepherd down the grand staircase this year and no real desire to go through the rituals of courtship and betrothal himself. Besides, he’ll know the right girl when he sees her, especially now that he has new spectacles. But his mother has other plans for him. At twenty-seven years of age, her son is in dire need of a wife.

Grace Wagner needs a husband by July in order to inherit the trust her father has left for her. Her stepfather, though, has plans for the money that don’t include Grace, and the last thing he wants is for her to find a husband before she turns twenty-one, thereby fulfilling the terms of the trust. She’s been in love with Halwyn since she was thirteen, but he hasn’t noticed her at any of the balls they’ve been at over the years. With the aid of his new glasses, he spies Grace from across the room and they share a dance. Grace decides to present him with a business proposition that will satisfy them both. But can a clueless knight in shining armor and a desperate damsel in distress find a way to turn this marriage of convenience into something more?

Grace Wagner needs a husband, and she needs one now! She is approaching her twenty-first birthday, and because of a fluke in the way her father’s will was written, her fortune will revert to her villain of a stepfather if she is not married. As Grace is pondering her fate at a ball, she is spotted by an old friend, Halwyn Fitzpatrick, who asks her to dance. Grace is shocked, because for years, whenever they would meet, Halwyn would look right through her. It turns out, he literally could not see her because of his poor vision. Now he’s sporting a brand new pair of spectacles, and notices how beautifully Grace has grown up.

Simon, Grace’s stepfather, is so evil, he’s almost unbelievable. He bulldozed Grace’s mother into marriage shortly after she was widowed, and she allowed it because she was afraid of being alone. Immediately it became clear that he was after Grace’s fortune. He has kept her out of society as much as possible, forcing her to wear old clothes, and doing his best to ensure no one will want to marry her. Grace slips away to talk to Halwyn, explains her situation, and proposes a marriage of convenience. Halwyn agrees, and they decide to remain married for a year, then divorce. I found this surprising, because the time period is 1858, and divorce still carried a stigma. Of course, the more time they spend together, the fonder they become of each other. They both want to make it a real marriage, but each thinks the other still wants a temporary arrangement.

As their upcoming marriage gets closer, Simon gets more desperate, and one of his schemes causes a serious injury to Halwyn. Simon was one of the most odious characters I’ve read about, and for a while, I wondered if he would be defeated. But Halwyn turns out to be true hero material, and he finally realizes that he loves Grace. As for Grace, she has loved Halwyn since she was thirteen. These two made a wonderful couple, who were a perfect match for each other. They had to work very hard for their well deserved happy ever after. I very much enjoyed this well written book, with its very clever title.

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