Cover Image: A Matter of Manners

A Matter of Manners

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Member Reviews

This is Katy and Jeremy’s story. Katy married the Duke of Lexham or so she thought.  The real Duke says he will stay married to her. There is a lot of BDSM.  There is spying for the English government. Katy thinks she committed murder. There are many twists and turns in this story. I was on the edge of my seat to see what happened next. I can’t wait to read more by this author.
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OK, I’ll admit it. I started reading A Matter of Manners last night, and hate-read a quarter of the book in nearly one sitting. Why hate read? Well, I kept reading because the story moved along quickly, with main characters Katy and Jeremy that were interesting and sex that was intriguing (historical BDSM romance sounded worth a try.). But I hated myself for it because the writing itself was bad and distracting and slightly disturbing–full of awkward turns of phrase and factual inaccuracies, as well as things that just didn’t make sense.

But even my hate-reading has limits. About 28% of the way through the book, I hit a section so incredibly fat-phobic it shocked me. And then I closed the book. Had this been a physical book, not on my electronic device, I would have thrown it across the room. A character is introduced who is unpleasant and abusive to those beneath her. And her size/ weight is presented less as a physical description than an additional indictment on her character. Katy says of the woman,”the fat tyrant’s ass reminded her of a hay bale draped in velvet.” A few paragraphs later Katy refers to the other woman’s “rolls of blubber.” The language is disgusting and hateful, and it was the final straw for me. I cannot read any more of this book.

But before I delete this book from my device and my life, let me lay out a few other reasons why this isn’t a terrific book. I might have been tempted to go easy on the writing, since this was an advanced copy through #NetGalley, had the author not used the language she did. But she did, so here we are.

First, can we just talk about how nobility in historic England would have been addressed? I already knew this, based on my vast experience with reading Barbara Cartland novels as a teen (Hey, no one is perfect.), but just to verify, I Googled the question, “How should you address a duchess?” The VERY FIRST RESULT, courtesy of Merriam-Webster, is a thorough and thoughtful article listing all the titles of peerage in the UK, the origins of those terms, and how people with those titles should be addressed. Which is to say, that if the author had spent LESS THAN 5 MINUTES doing Google research, she would have known very well that no one would refer to the Duke and Duchess in this story as “Duke” or “Duchess”. They’d be “Your Grace” or “Lady ___” or “Lord ___.” Clearly the author did not do this, because the characters, from the uptight, correct butler to the humblest maid to the Duke and Duchess themselves don’t seem to be able to do this consistently.

There are also lapses in logic, anachronisms, and bizarre turns of phrase: One minute Katy is removing something from her pocket. The next minute she has nowhere to place the hairpins she removed from her hair and has to drop them on the floor. What happened to your pockets, Katy? The author also later refers to a character’s “short booming voice”; what does that even mean?

Jeremy thinks to himself that Katy tastes as delicious as lemon cheesecake when he pleasures her–a flavor description I’ve never heard for that area of the body before. I’m not even sure if lemon cheesecake as we know it existed at this point in history. The author also describes being served maple syrup at breakfast, apparently with oatmeal. I guess it is possible, but British breakfasts, especially for the aristocracy, were generally heavy on savory dishes like unsweetened meats and eggs, with toast on the side, not the American meals drenched in sweet syrup that we expect now and which this author describes. It all just felt sloppy and anachronistic and incredibly distracting from the story.

I was especially put off by a scene where Katy’s lips tremble when speaking of her mother’s untimely death, and Jeremy is TURNED ON by that. Well, to be specific, his “c**k twitched.” This is something it does at least once a page, and the reader is told about it every time. Honestly, Jeremy’s penis is pretty much a third character in the story, and a very annoying and one dimensional one that nevertheless seems to control Jeremy.

I get that Jeremy is a sadist, and there’s not anything particularly wrong with that between consenting adults. But his mind goes to really dark places really quickly–when he first met Katy, he marveled how she had been able to travel to England from Ireland without being raped or kidnapped or “locked in a whorehouse, forced to do things even he wouldn’t inflict on a woman.” Really? Really? This is where his mind immediately goes? It’s creepy. As is the fact that he, by his own admission, spied on her while she slept.

So, bottom line, this book is gross and inaccurate and poorly written and made me angry. While I appreciate #NetGalley and the publisher sharing a free digital advanced copy of #AMatterofManners with me, that can’t compensate for writing like this. I would not recommend this book to anyone I know, and I have zero interest in ever reading another book by this author. This is my honest opinion.
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The last thing Jeremy Wyles expected was to fall in love with the beautiful and pregnant Irish lady Katy Brennan. She’s pregnant by another man yet he’s willing to marry her and claim the child as his own, thus securing his dukedom. He’ll give her everything she needs but will not touch her. But when she runs away, he catches up with her and punishes her the only way he knows how. When her gasps of delight reach his ears, he wonders if she’s the submissive he’s been looking for to appease the dominant man within. Can he protect his heart from her clutches or is it too late? 


I had no expectations when I started reading A Matter of Manners as this is Terry Graham’s debut novel. Was it going to have a plot or will it be another 50 Shades? From the first chapter, Jeremy and Katy connected with my heart. I wanted these two to get together and I wanted George gone, possibly in shackles. The characterizations of the characters impressed me as the more I discovered about them, the more I grew attached to them. The pain, desire, confusion, jealousy, love felt by Jeremy and Katy I experienced too. The bdsm scenes were tastefully done and only added to the depth of the plot. Speaking of the plot, it moved at a steady pace without any plot holes. The ending made me cry but let me assure you, they were happy tears. 


A Matter of Manners is a perfect blend of Jane Austen and 50 Shades. Highly recommend!


Note: This book is for adult reading only. 18+ due to adult situations and language. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I'd review it.


Favorite Character/Quote: Katy. She’s had a rough go of it, but she’s got a great spirit. I loved how she totally lets go with Jeremy and explores her own pleasures. She stands up for herself when it’s needed, even when Jeremy punishes her. She’s exactly what he needs and vice versa. 


My Rating: 5 stars
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A Matter of Manners by Terry Graham is the First book in the Shades of Sin Series.  This is the story of  
Kathleen 'Katy' Brennan and Jeremy Wyles, the Duke of Lexham.  Jeremy is twice widowed with no children and after being told he was sterile had no hopes of any.  But his cousin George who is married has several children along with possibly more.  So when Katy comes to his door saying she was married to the Duke and that she was pregnant was sure due to George.  But Jeremy thinks to take advantage of this situation and claim Katy as his wife and her child as his.  Katy was forced to married the Duke who left her shortly after so she heads out to find him but instead learns she was not really married to the true Duke.  A bargain is struck between them but their feelings and attraction makes it impossible to stay true to the original intent. 
Spicy historical read!
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This was a very engaging story that moved along at a good pace. Kathleen was a brave and resourceful lady. Jeremy has his share of disappointments. They made a couple who were ideal for each other, if only they could believe and trust each other. There were some heartfelt moments between them. There was also the problems of the Irish rebels and how they were connected to Kathleen’s family in Ireland. There are a number of interesting secondary characters, including Miles, Lord Beccles, I hope he gets his own story! I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Katy thought she was marrying a Duke and ends up pregnant.  Jeremy is a Duke and is sterile, when Katy shows up on his door, he isn’t quite sure what to do with her.  He decides to keep her as is wife in name only and allow the child to be his heir.  What happens when their chemistry becomes steamy and his need to punish is wife grows?  Fast-paced read with plenty of drama, intense chemistry and steam.  I really liked this historical read.
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First book from this author for me. Very enticing book cover. It has suspense, Steam, romance. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book and I find the story dragging a bit towards the ends. The sex scenes were very repetitive. I will check out other books from this author for sure.
I voluntarily reviewed this ARC and the opinions here are all mine.
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A Matter of Manners is the first book in the Shades of Sin series.  This was the first book I have read by this author and I was pleasantly surprised.  It had a solid storyline, well developed characters, and was fast paced.  There was a mystery of a murderous traitor that needed solving.  I do wish that we could have seen more on the development of the main characters relationship
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The cover is enticing to the eye and encourages those with interest of the erotic nature to take a risk and read this novel. The contents are to be commended and the novel keeps the reader interested. Overall, this is a great read and I would certainly recommend it to a friend, family member or colleague,
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Can a Duke with unusual sexual proclivities and an Irish woman with a secret; be honest with each other in the name of love?
Overall Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Kindle Unlimited:  unknown
This was an interesting take on historical romance.  Jeremy a Duke, twice married with a past that has caused him to feel he’s not worthy and has needs that are outside the norm and therefore can’t have a relationship.  

Katy, has run from Ireland looking for Jeremy’s cousin George.  There are secrets everywhere and I was intrigued and the storyline kept me reading.  What I had an issue with, is I am not a fan of drama that can be solved with a simple conversation.  I just felt there were too many secrets that could have been easily rectified with a conversation.

I did like the book and I would probably continue reading to see what happens to Miles and Thomas.  I think those stories could be interesting.
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This was an interesting story. It has suspense, intrigue, BDSM but not much romance. The plot made me keep turning the pages but I felt something was missing...the connection between the Duke and Duchess. I just didn't feel the chemistry or love between them. The entire relationship felt one sided, which was the Duke's side. I didn't feel what the Duchess was getting from this relationship.
I received an arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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This was a difficult book to rate. It was a more considered erotic romance than the norm, with a decent not sex related plot.

Jeremy is a twice married Duke, who remains childless. Now widowed for the second time, he believes he can’t father a child, and is jealous of his cousin George’s fertility. When the Irish wife George has pretended to marry, while on a horse buying trip, turns up effectively barefoot and pregnant, he seizes an opportunity to set her up as his duchess and acknowledge the child as his own. Kate has her own issues to deal with, and tries to escape, however the stern Duke is relentless and hunts her down.

Unlike most of this genre, there was a detailed plot about Kate’s brother, and spying, which was quite interesting, and the erotic elements of the story were definitely well done and steamy, but the whole thing felt very long, the relationship between the leads felt overly convoluted, and the conflict went on for a bit too long. I also felt it was a bit disjointed, as if there were two books fighting each other in parts of the story.

I think with a more tightly edited story this would have been even better.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book and all opinions are my own.

Also posted on Goodreads
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3.5 Stars

This was an enjoyable read but it's definitely missing something. I think it would have been a little better had the setting been different. I don't know if that's the something I'm referring to though. 

I enjoyed reading about Jeremy and Katy but the writing felt a bit clunky a points. The BDSM was entertaining but once again I just feel like the setting was off. I think if you just want an easy read though, this wouldn't be bad.
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Jeremy is a tortured man. Afraid of his true nature and has already buried two wives, he has been told he is sterile.  Katy takes a little while to get used to. Her secrecy is annoying, and I have serious issues with the cousin angle. Why would a man who obviously loves his wife in later parts of the book be portrayed as a philanderer, in the beginning,

The sex is off the charts in terms of heat. I am a big fan of BDSM romances, and this one certainly delivers. I am anxiously awaiting the next in the series. 

I received an arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Ok. If you have a problem with doms and subs, this book is not for you. 

Even with the tying up, etc, the story is really good. Characters are interesting.  Good plot.  It's up to you.
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In-depth characters and a well developed story by Terry Graham.  Found this enjoyable and look forward to more in this series.  First time reading this author who puts forth his skill in this craft.  "A copy of this book was provided by Wild Rose Press via NetGalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."  NOT JUST AN EROTIC READ IT IS MUCH MORE!
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A Duke who believes he is sterile keeps on the pregnant Irish woman who he finds out was married to him by proxy. He's insistent he'll never touch her but their blazing chemistry land them in bed and the Duke discovers Katy is definitely into his sadistic nature.

An erotic historical with a lot of steam, but please see the CW below for more info if needed.

CW: Katy has a miscarriage on page. The Duke finds out he is not sterile and they go on to have many children.
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Really enjoyed the aspect of Victorian with splashes of bdsm, but I really wasn't into this bdsm. Don't really think it pulled the plot a long (which I thought the plot was pretty good). Just wanted more back story on the main characters.
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I got this as an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed the book because the author describes every detail of the surroundings of the characters.
It’s not only the typical romance story and is not only sex. The two principal characters are so good for each other and don’t jugde them at all.
Jeremy the male character, has this taste for sadism in the bed. But don’t get wrong he is not Christian Grey and don’t have a dark past, he just like that kind of thing and Kate accepted him without any doubt.
That kind of acceptance caught my attention because I didn’t read it before. That kind of love that Kate has for Jeremy was amazing and cute.
The sex scene was equally detailed as the others scene so, you can imagine being Katy.
Terry Graham also put a little of history mentioning the Battle of ross and adding spies as principal characters. It was entertaining and different.
The bad
The only thing that I didn’t like was the relations between the two-principal character, it was a big cliché.
Also, the author doesn’t mention Jeremy's  past so you don’t not well why he likes this kind of behavior in the bed.
Overall the story was good, it’s a little bit of different in this huge sea of erotic novels. Because not only read the bed scene but also you can have little glimpses of the story behind of the characters.
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I received a free copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  A matter of manners is a steamy read.  Jeremy believes that no woman will want him because of his being a Dominant just as his two deceased wives didn't.  He also believes himself impotent so when Katy shows up at his door pregnant and claiming to be married to his already married cousin he  sees the perfect solution.  He will take her as his wife and claim her child as his own.  I loved the relationship  between jeremy and Katy.  The way Katy allowed jeremy to accept who he was and his desire was perfect.
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