Thursday, March 4, 2021

Grace by Contract Once Upon a Duchy Book 1 by Rachel Rossano Genre: Fairytale-Inspired Romance


Why Grace isn’t named Beauty

By Rachel Rossano


From the first time I read Beauty and the Beast as a child, it struck me how much emphasis was put on Beauty’s appearance as well as her internal beauty. Although the Beast is trying to get Beauty to fall in love with what is beneath his unappealing surface, he demands that she should have a lovely exterior for him to look at. Because of this double standard, I decided to tweak a few things in Grace by Contract.

My heroine is not ugly, but she is not strikingly beautiful either. In a break from the fairytale, she isn’t the youngest sister, and her moniker is not Beauty. That name is allocated to her youngest sister who is strikingly beautiful, innocent, and a bit too childish for her age. Instead my heroine is named Grace.

Playing on the premise that outer beauty is fleeting and inner beauty is forever, Grace is very still very similar to her fairytale counterpart on the inside. She sacrifices herself for her family despite great difficulties. Her father’s foolishness becomes the source of most of the family’s troubles, and she willingly steps in to help. She is hard working, kind, and gentle. All the things one would expect of a fairytale heroine. But, she isn’t overwhelmingly beautiful. That way my hero must see past the shining beauty of the younger sister to the more lasting beauty of Grace’s inner strength.


Grace by Contract
Once Upon a Duchy Book 1
by Rachel Rossano
Genre: Fairytale-Inspired Romance

After her father uproots the family to the northern duchy of Brackenhurst, Grace Eldon and her four younger sisters struggle with a new life of hardship. Desperate to keep a roof over their heads amid mounting debts, she and her youngest sister seek employment in the Duke of Brackenhurst's household despite fearsome rumors.

Scarred and maimed from a terrible fire Silas Isling, Duke of Brackenhurst, buries himself in his work to avoid the stares of pity and fear. When one of the new maids shows no fear at his appearance, he is intrigued. That is until his meddling steward gives her the task of cleaning Silas' bookroom. It is a most unwelcome disruption since he prefers to be alone.

While a thief plagues his castle, an old nemesis reappears, and enemies invade in the guise of guests. Amidst the distractions and chaos, Grace brings some unexpected order. Once convinced his scars had stolen all hope for love, Silas finds his life forever changed by the quiet maid. Could she love a scarred Duke?

Inspired by Beauty and the Beast

Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.

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