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The Reluctant Debutante: Book 1 of the Cotillion Ball Series [Kindle Edition]

Becky Lower
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In 1855 New York, Ginger Fitzpatrick has absolutely no interest in taking part in the newest rage in America—the Cotillion Ball. Instead, Ginger would rather be rallying for women’s rights—at least until she meets her brother’s best friend from St. Louis, a dark mysterious man named Joseph Lafontaine, who ignites her passion and makes her question if love and marriage is such a ridiculous notion after all.

What she and the rest of New York’s high society don’t realize is that Joseph is half Ojibwa Indian, and therefore, totally unsuitable for marriage to a fine, cultured young lady.

In this Edith Wharton-meets-Julia Quinn tale, a young woman rebels against high society and opts for a life in which she creates her own set of rules.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Ever since submitting her first screenplay to Bonanza at age twelve, Becky Lower has had a love affair with the American west. Since personal time travel is out of the question, she pursues her passion by writing about it. Becky is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and lives in Oberlin, Ohio with her dog, Mary.

Books In This Series (6 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From the Publisher

    Voted #1 Surprising Good Books by users
    Voted #27 Romantic ebook Must Reads by users

    "This series is a breath of fresh air for a historical romance lover! I loved that the [mid-1800s America] setting for each books takes place in a different city and you can see how the approaching [Civil] war is causing havoc in so many ways. Ginger is very likable, and is a strong woman who knows what she wants." --Rachel, The Reading Cafe

    About the Author

    Ever since submitting her first screenplay to Bonanza at age twelve, Becky Lower has had a love affair with the American west. Since personal time travel is out of the question, she pursues her passion by writing about it. Becky is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and lives in Oberlin, Ohio with her dog, Mary.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 672 KB
    • Print Length: 252 pages
    • Publisher: Crimson Romance (July 2, 2012)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B008AZL6Z0
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,179 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    By Micah
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This is a must-read for any history buff. From the opening chapter, I knew I held something special in my hands. The heroine--strong, independent Ginger Fitzpatrick--is Bloomer-deep in developing women's rights. The hero, Joseph Lafontaine, is half French-Canadian, half Ojibwa Indian. The moment they meet, the sparks fly. This alone would be enough to get me hooked (when was the last time you read a well-written Western/Native American romance?), but then author Becky Lower took it even further by incorporating real-life historical events. The climax of the book--Missouri, November 1, 1855--was stunning. Couldn't put it down. Will definitely pick up the next book in the series when it releases to see what trouble the twins get into!
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    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars A Historical Beginning July 9, 2012
    By TamiV
    Format:Kindle Edition
    This is Becky Lower's break out story set in 1855 New York and takes us on a journey to the newly found Hampton's and blazing iron trail to St. Louis. The story is stocked full of interesting characters and situations that have a promise of more stories to come. This is one summer read you won't want to put down until you hit the end. A great beach read.

    Ginger Fitzpatrick is a spitfire in more ways than one and is coerced into a New York season by her mom. Ginger wants to forward women's rights through her work at her father's bank and by helping to take up the temperance cause that some of her friends are involved in. During her story she meets the first female physician, Elizabeth Blackwell, and the ever clever activist, Amelia Bloomer. Her adventures not only teach her how to trust herself and her choices, but she finds true love and companionship along the way.

    Ms. Lower makes you feel like you are walking the streets of New York and St. Louis and riding the Pacific Railroad toward the West. Her characters pop off the page and are each special and memorable. At times there are a couple of slow spots, but that's a sign that we're gearing up for something exciting. With this being her first novel, I'm excited to see what will come from her in the future.

    Just a taste:
    Ginger`s blush rose from her toes to her cheeks, which became inflamed with color. She stared up at him again and gasped. "You threatened me on our fateful day in the livery, saying you would like to strip me of my bloomers and have your way with me. Did you ravage me?" She squeaked out the question.
    "You were unconscious, and ill. I would not take advantage of you under such circumstances."
    "Damn," she whispered. She pummeled her hands on the covers. Then she smiled up at him. "But I`m awake and well now."

    Favorite Quote:
    Let no one say again we were not meant to meet each other.
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    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    By AS
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Becky Lower's The Reluctant Debutante is a well-researched, richly drawn portrait of 1855 America that intertwines a number of historical events and persons with a very romantic and sensual tale. Vastly entertaining, with a fabulous tie-in to the famous Gasconade Bridge train disaster, Lower skillfully constructs a story full of challenges, betrayals, love and enduring friendships that has a way of pulling you into her character's lives and wanting more. All in all, The Reluctant Debutante is a portal to another time that held my attention from beginning to end!

    Note: I was provided an ARC for review as a professional courtesy. No monetary or other compensation was involved.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Magnificent Novel! October 14, 2012
    By DOC
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    A magnificent read! I guarantee you'll love journeying to 1855 New York to meet the beautiful and fiercely bright Ginger, the reluctant debutante who would rather wear bloomers and protest for women's rights than dance and flirt at the Cotillion Ball. Becky Lower writes with a wonderful voice and she has a masterful grasp of the history of the era. As a historian, I fully appreciate her marvelous research skills and how deftly she weaves both rich and subtle details into her story. This novel goes far beyond the boundaries of a traditional romance, yet it will appeal to fans of romance novels and historical fiction alike. The love that grows between Ginger and her half French, half Native American hero, Joseph, is beautifully rendered. He is Ginger's equal in character and bravery, yet he is an "Indian" and therefore a target of the abject prejudice so prevalent at the time. While their romantic fate rests on his acceptance by Ginger's family - and by society in general - their own spirited and courageous decisions ultimately allow them to confront intolerance and bigotry in surprising ways, and to find their haven. Kudos to Ms. Lower for creating a novel I won't soon forget!
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Reluctant Debutante October 14, 2012
    By Amy J
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Becky Lower's debut novel, The Reluctant Debutante, is a wonderful addition to American Historical Romance. With a market flooded with English Historicals (and don't get me wrong, I love them) it is refreshing to delve into American history in a unique way.

    The heroine, Ginger Fitzpatrick, lives up to her flavorful name. She is a woman not willing to continue living in the same way as the women before her. She meets and works with Amelia Bloomer to help advance women's rights. In an ironic twist, Ginger is invited to participate in the Cotillion which is being introduced in New York's high society in 1855. While she plans to remain single and work in her Father's bank, she reluctantly agrees to help her family fit into society and attend the Cotillion.

    Joseph Lafointaine travels to New York from St Louis with Ginger's brother, Basil, to sell horses. Joseph is a successful business man out west, but he harbors a secret - he is half Ojibiwa Indian. When confronted with New York's high society, Basil convinces him to hide his heritage.

    Needless to say, when a strong-minded woman who doesn't believe she needs a man in her life meets a mysterious man with a secret how can the sparks not fly? And the best part of all? This book is chock full of historical references including a railway disaster that plays a pivotal part in the book.

    I can't wait to read the next installment in her Cotillion series!
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    3.0 out of 5 stars An ok read...
    I really enjoyed the story, but the writing has a lot of work that needs to be put into it. I do look forward to seeing where Lower goes with this family.
    Published 2 months ago by teach4173
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Niece Bought this
    Published 4 months ago by Michael A. Scouten
    5.0 out of 5 stars OMG I have totally enjoyed this series and CANNOT wait to read #5
    OMG I have totally enjoyed this series and CANNOT wait to read #5,Thank -you Sherrie for introducing me to beckys books.What an amazing family story. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Bobbie
    5.0 out of 5 stars I also read some of her other ones & they just keep getting better &...
    I think Becky did a fabulous job on this book. I read it in two days. I also read some of her other ones & they just keep getting better & better. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Sherrie Daisher
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    An enjoyable light read.
    Published 6 months ago by nancy
    3.0 out of 5 stars Cute Story
    There were several things about this story that I really enjoyed. The hero, Joseph, was strong and stood by his beliefs. Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Buttercup
    1.0 out of 5 stars Needs editing
    I found the writing tedious. While some parts of the story were not bad, I skimmed quite a bit of the book. There is some awkward phrasing as well as repetitive descriptions.
    Published 7 months ago by Claire Gesalman
    4.0 out of 5 stars New York meets the frontier
    Ginger Fitzpatrick is a modern woman. After all it is 1855 and she should not have to bend to the rules of society and a woman’s place in it. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by C.D. Hersh
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good vacation read
    This was a good book to read for a leisurely vacation. Nothing heavy about it; no controversial topics (current ones, that is); nothing but a pleasure book. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by S. B. Pierce
    1.0 out of 5 stars Did not like
    Written poorly. A child could do better. Contrived. Will stay away from this series & author in future. Waste of my time
    Published 12 months ago by Connie Buckley
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    More About the Author

    Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it present day coastal Maine or on a covered wagon headed west in the 1850s. Contemporary and historical romances are her specialty.

    Becky is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America, a member of the Northeast Ohio chapter of RWA and the Hearts Through History and Contemporary RWA on-line chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. Visit her website at

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