Sometimes love is an accident.
This time, it’s a strategy.
Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly–so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention.
But that is precisely what she gets.
Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he’s up to, he realizes there is more to than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he’s determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match…
For quite some time now I have seen plenty of high rating and reviews, and recommendations from fellow bloggers and friends about this series, and I kept putting it off. But as I was browsing I saw that The Duchess War, was free, so I thought I should start reading it. This is not the first time that I have read this author, but I haven’t read her in quite some time. I do love wallflower themed romances, but this story had so much more depth that I was expecting.
The story begins with Minerva Lane, who finds herself hiding behind a couch, when her almost fiancee comes in with his friends, talking crap about her, and she finds herself with a partner listening in, Robert Blaisdell, who she later learns is a bloody Duke. Can her day get any worse? Minerva has been hiding her true identity for years, and now she has no choice but to marry, because the only family she has left, two women that practically adopted her into their lives, friends of her mother, are left in dire straits, and she needs to marry and soon. But when Robert enters her life, and begins to pursue her, she starts to want a better way for her life, and not just marrying someone for convenience. And soon she starts to realize that there is alot more to Robert than meets the eye, and she will have to decide if she could handle being the Duchess of Clermont, or will her inner fears from her past consume her?
What I loved about this story was the emotional intensity that is displayed throughout the story. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this authors style, that pulled me right into the story from the beginning. What I liked at the start was how Robert and Minnie got along with each. There was quite a bit of fun interaction, and it was a show seeing these two rub along together, and try to work things out, with a bit of heated and strongly sensual scenes that could fire up the room. There definitely is plenty of sparks flying back in forth between the two. Another characteristic that I really enjoyed was the building up of the characters. We see quite a bit of development of both Minnie and Robert. The kind that really capture you attention, and I fell in love with both Minnie and Robert. They were such a pair, and I couldn’t get enough of them and the kind of attachment that they form to each other.
Robert is ….well I loved him as the hero, he really got my radar up and working furiously, there was something so telling about him that made me just want to marry the man myself. Robert isn’t looking for a conventional marriage, he is quite a schemer, but in a good way. He has secrets of his own, but he goes about doing things that he knows he can get away with because he is a Duke. Robert never grew up with parents that loved him, he has never really known love or affection, until the arrival of his brother and cousin come into his life. He hasn’t had a easy road, but is determined to make a difference in his life. Minnie, grew up in a situation that was not her own, and has her own talents and is way intelligent, but has had to settle for less because of the secret that she is afraid of coming out. What match that these two were for each other. They may have different types of history, and status in society, but they work so good together and really balance each other really well.
I found that The Duchess War was a fascinating story of healing, past hurts, and a poignant love to win every heart….SENSUAL AND WELL PLAYED OUT!!
His voice dropped to a low murmur, and he leaned down so that he was almost whispering in her ear. “You see, there’s this woman.”
She wasn’t going to look at him. She wasn’t.
“Normally, one might say that there was a beautiful woman—but I don’t think she qualifies as a classical beauty. Still, I find that when she’s around, I’d rather look at her than anyone else.”
He set two fingers against her cheek, and Minnie sucked in a breath. She was not going to look at him. He’d see the longing in her eyes, and then…
“There’s something about her that draws my eye. Something that defies words. Maybe it’s her hair, but I tried to tell her that, and she told me I was being ridiculous. I suppose I was. Maybe it’s her lips. Maybe it’s her eyes, although she so rarely looks at me.”
“I want you. I want you very badly. I want you so much that when you fall down half a hall away from me, I’m by your side before anyone else can move. I want you so much that there are nights that I think of nothing but having you.”
Governess Affair (0.5)
The Duchess War (1)
A Kiss For Midwinter (1.5)
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The Countess Conspiracy (3)
The Suffragette Scandal (4)
Talk Sweetly To Me (4.5)