Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review - My One and Only Duke

Author:  Grace Burrowes
Series:  Rogues to Riches #1
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:  442
Date of Publication:  November 6, 2018
My Rating:  5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:
New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes introduces us to the unconventional Wentworth family in this charming Regency romance with a Cinderella twist.

A funny thing happened on the way to the gallows...


One minute, London banker Quinn Wentworth is facing execution. The next, he's declared the long-lost heir to a dukedom. Quinn has fought his way up from the vilest slums, and now he's ready to use every dirty trick he knows to find the enemy who schemed against him.

There was just one tiny problem...


Jane Winston, the widowed, pregnant daughter of a meddlesome prison preacher, crosses paths with Quinn in jail. Believing his days are numbered, Quinn offers Jane marriage as a way to guarantee her independence and provide for her child. Neither thinks they'll actually have a future together.

They were wrong.


He's a wealthy gutter rat out for vengeance. She's a minister's daughter who must turn a marriage of desperation into a proper ducal union. Are they doomed from the start or destined for a happily-ever-after?
 


Features the bonus novella Patience for Christmas from New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes!


MY THOUGHTS:

London banker Quinn Wentworth is soon to executed. When Quinn discovers the plight of a prison preacher’s daughter, Jane Winston, he offers a solution. Jane is widowed, pregnant and destitute. Quinn has very little time left, so he sees no problem offering her marriage, which in turn will provide a comfortable life fo her and her child, and get her away from her disaster of a father. 

Here’s the catch. Not only is Quinn actually innocent of the crime for which he is to be hanged, he has been framed. At the last possible moment, he is saved shortly after he’d been declared the long-lost heir to a dukedom. Quinn has two things on his agenda: to claim his bride, and to find and deal with his enemy. 

If dreams could come true, Quinn and Jane can have a wonderful future together. Little did they know...

Jane, Quinn and his siblings plow ahead towards an uncertain future. Adjustments must be made. For one thing, as much as their they shared a powerful chemistry from the outset, Jane’s past was quite painful and this most certainly affects any possible chance of happiness she may have with Quinn. On the other hand, Quinn quickly develops powerful feelings for Jane, but his drive for vengeance may cause their undoing. 

What made My One and Only Duke work so well for me was the many layers. While there was most certainly romance with deep emotion, there was also mystery, drama and the wonderful historical setting. There was also the incredible shock of the near-hanging. The character development was done quite well, laying the groundwork for future books in the series. 

This is the first book in the Rogues to Riches series. The next book is When a Duchess Says I Do, expected publication in April, 2019, which is Duncan Wentworth’s story. 

Included in the print version of the book is Once Upon a Christmas Eve, a novella by Elizabeth Hoyt, which I will review separately. 

Many thanks to Forever for this ARC to review. This is my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


I spent a lot of time early in life reading romance novels and riding a chubby buckskin gelding named —unimaginatively if eponymously—Buck. In college, while still voraciously reading romance, I supported myself by teaching piano and accompanying ballet classes. I became a technical writer and an editor after graduation, a demanding job that nonetheless left enough time to read many, many romance novels—and grab a law degree through an evening program.

Then I became a mom—much to my surprise—and small town lawyering seemed like a better fit with a single parent’s priorities. Through all of my ups and downs, detours and speedbumps, I’d been a relentless reader of romance. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Judith Ivory, Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Eloisa James… I could fill this page with the authors I’ve read and enjoyed. I consider them the fairy godmothers who’ve guarded my single-working-mom sanity.

Late one night, I was cramming on a lawyer-deadline, drafting some Motion to Do Something Or Other Right Now Please Your Honor, when I recalled that in my briefcase was a book I’d been saving to read on a hard day.

“One chapter,” I muttered. “I’ll read just one chapter, and then knock out this motion…” But another thought kept intruding as I read that one chapter, “I bet I could…”

So… I wrote a romance novel. That book became Gareth: Lord of Rakes, and opened the door to the sheer bliss of writing historical romance. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote… my writing chair became my happy place, though I still had no thought that I might someday become a published author. My Beloved Offspring flew the coop, and the writing only picked up speed.

I am the sixth out of seven children, and from all sides (my four brothers in particular), I heard, “When are you going to get that stuff published?” As if publishing contracts droppeth from the heavens like the gentle rain? And yet… I’m a child welfare attorney. That’s a tough gig, and I could see the day when I might want an alternative.

I joined RWA, like dipping a casual toe in the waters of authordom when nobody was looking. I went to a chapter conference and felt completely out of place. Nonetheless, I bumped into an editor there, and the query letter resulting from that encounter began: “I am the buffoon in the bar at the RWA retreat who could not keep her heroines straight, could not look you in the eye, and could not stop blushing—and if that doesn’t narrow down the possibilities, your job is even harder than I thought.” (The dear lady bought the book anyway.)

We started with the Windham family, eventually doubled back and picked up Gareth and his successors in the Lonely Lords series, scooted over to the Victorian Highlands for the MacGregor quartet… whole lotta authordom going on!

Somewhere along the way, I realized that I am a writer. That chair before my computer is still very much my happy place, and the professional version of “once upon a time,” is every bit as alluring and enjoyable as the childhood version. I owe my reader so many hours of joy, and the only way I can think to repay that gift is by writing more stories!


Please feel free to contact me. I love reader mail!




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