A Trilogy, The Grantham Girls by Amanda Weaver

The three books of The Grantham Girls series by Amanda Weaver are, A Duchess in Name, A Common Scandal, and A Reluctant Betrothal.
GoodReads Summary:
Victoria Carson never expected love. An American heiress and graduate of Lady Grantham's finishing school, she's been groomed since birth to marry an English title—the grander the better. So when the man chosen for her, the forbidding Earl of Dunnley, seems to hate her on sight, she understands that it can't matter. Love can have no place in this arrangement.

Andrew Hargrave has little use for his title and even less for his cold, disinterested parents. Determined to make his own way, he's devoted to his life in Italy working as an archaeologist. Until the collapse of his family's fortune drags him back to England to a marriage he never wanted and a woman he doesn't care to know.

Wild attraction is an unwanted complication for them both, though it forms the most fragile of bonds. Their marriage of convenience isn't so intolerable after all—but it may not be enough when the deception that bound them is finally revealed.

GoodReads Summary:
Finishing school taught Amelia Wheeler how to put on a well-mannered performance—when she’s not bored and looking for trouble. Lady Grantham’s is behind her and now it's time for Amelia to keep her promise to her dying mother: marry a title and leave her wild days behind. 

That promise would be much easier to keep if Nate Smythe hadn’t just reappeared in a London ballroom. The son of an impoverished sailor, Nate—Natty, as he used to be called—has grown up to become handsome, rich and polished. He claims to be looking for a proper bride who can advance his business interests, but that doesn’t stop him from seeking out Amelia every chance he gets. Challenging her. Kissing her.

Suddenly, struggling against her simmering passion is the least of Amelia's problems—one of her titled suitors is hiding a desperate secret that could stop Amelia from pleasing her parents or finding happiness with Nate. As a weeklong house party threatens to derail her hard-won future, Amelia must decide: fight against disaster or act like the lady she's promised to become? 

GoodReads Summary:
From the seaside villas of France to the sumptuous drawing rooms of London’s Victorian aristocracy comes a tale of star-crossed lovers desperate to escape their irresistible—and terribly inconvenient—passion.

When Grace Godwyn is introduced to her soon-to-be fiancé’s closest friend, she can hardly keep from fainting. The man whose angry gaze confronts her is none other than the handsome stranger who came to her aid in a dark French alleyway. The stranger with whom she’d shared a moment of reckless passion. And now, with a single word, he could destroy her one chance for security.

Julian St. John, Lord Knighton, owes his friend too much to allow him to fall into the clutches of a craven fortune hunter. He knows all he needs to know of Grace Godwyn: that she’s the orphaned and penniless daughter of a disgraced viscount; that her lips taste incomparably sweet. There is no way he is going to allow this marriage to take place.

Yet the more time Julian and Grace are forced to spend in each other’s company, the more irresistible their desire grows—and the more devastating the potential consequences.

My Review of the series:
Each of these books could have been read as a stand alone. They are not written so closely that they aren't whole stories all on their own. In fact, the connection is rather slight among the three books. It's explained in the first book, A Duchess in Name, mostly to explain the relationship between the three girls and to set the stage for who they are and how they know each other. It also explains the "Grantham" aspect. Grantham is the name of their teacher, their finishing teacher. When you are finished by Lady Grantham, you are prepared to face the real world and find a husband who can support you in decent style.

The first and second books were quite lovely and the girls did their job and found gentlemen who could support them in more than decent style. In fact, Victoria ended up in grand style and quite in love with her handsome husband. And, of course, Amelia had been in love with Natty since they were children. And he can support her in high style, too.

The third book in the series just didn't appeal to me as much as the first two did. The Reluctant Betrothal is about Grace. She starts her story without any money and it seems to create a chip on her shoulder that she doesn't seem to lose through the whole story. Even her HEA ending doesn't seem to be so happy. I did give it three stars since it was well written. But there just didn't seem to be enough life in it. It seemed a bit sad the whole way through.

The third book, The Reluctant Betrothal, was provided to me by Carina Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley