Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Review - When a Duchess Says I Do

Title:  When a Duchess Says I Do
Author:  Grace Burrowes
Series:  Rogues to Riches #2
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:  384
Date of Publication:  April 2, 2019
My Rating:  4.5 Stars


An enchanting Regency romance with a fairy-tale twist from an always witty and delightful New York Times bestselling author who Tessa Dare calls "a romance treasure."

Duncan Wentworth tried his hand at rescuing a damsel in distress once long ago, and he's vowed he'll never make that mistake again. Nonetheless, when he comes across Matilda Wakefield in the poacher-infested and far-from-enchanted woods of his estate, decency compels him to offer aid to a lady fallen on hard times. Matilda is whip-smart, she can read Duncan's horrible penmanship, and when she wears his reading glasses, all Duncan can think about is naughty Latin poetry. 

Matilda cannot entrust her secrets to Duncan without embroiling him in the problems that sent her fleeing from London, but neither can she ignore a man who's honorable, a brilliant chess player, and maddeningly kissable. She needs to stay one step ahead of the enemies pursuing her, though she longs to fall into Duncan's arms. Duncan swears he has traded in his shining armor for a country gentleman's muddy boots, but to win the fair maid, he'll have to ride into battle one more time. 

Matilda Wakefield is on the run. She is in grave danger. She happened to be found in an area that is infested by poachers and when she runs into Duncan Wentworth not only does he save her life, but she almost takes his. After all, being on the run has placed her in further danger so she doesn’t know what harm he could possibly bring to her.

Duncan immediately sees that this woman needs help. Duncan is actually in need. His estate is in a bad way. A former schoolteacher, he found out that things are really really bad and he needs a lot of assistance. He quickly learns how smart Matilda is and what she can do to help him. What’s more is that his protective nature is almost sidelined by his attraction to her. Will she be able to trust him enough to tell him her secrets?

Matilda has very good reason for hiding what she is doing. But when she learns about Duncan Is that he is unlike many of the people she has has known. Not only is he extremely attentive, and attractive, he may actually be able to help. But then she wonders if she draws close to him will the danger that she exudes stretch out to him.

In the second book in the Rogues to Riches series by Grace Burrowes, we meet another member of the Wentworth family. In the first book of the series we met Quinn and how he met and married Jane. Now Duncan has a chance at love but it definitely will not come easy. Duncan and Matilda are a great team. They are both extremely intelligent, work well together and play well together I really enjoyed the story because I wanted so much for Matilda to find the safety that she so well deserved, as well as seeing Daniel find happiness after his past has been explored in the story.

Inasmuch as Duncan and Matilda, as well as Quinn and Jane are really wonderful characters, this review would be incomplete without mentioning Stephen, Duncan‘s cousin and Quinn‘s brother. Stephen was instrumental in what transpired and holds a lot of promises in the story here.

Just as there were very likable characters in the story as we learn why Matilda ran, or at least part of the reason why, we find a character who is not so likable. That took this historical romance and gave this story an element of intrigue that was quite interesting and had me turning pages so fast that before I knew it I was 91% into the book. I devoured this book and I look forward to the next book in the series, which is Forever and a Duke, and is slated for release in November.

Many thanks to Forever for this ARC to review in exchange for an honest opinion.

Review for My One and Only Duke,

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!