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4.1 out of 5 stars
Blame It on Bath: The Truth About the Duke
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Caroline Linden hasn't let me down yet and this latest book is no exception. It picks up as a companion story to One Night in London, though I think it would still make sense as a standalone. The premise to the series: after the Duke of Durham's death, his three sons find out that his marriage to their mother may have been invalid. A blackmailer claims to have proof that the Duke was married to another woman first and never divorced. With their legitimacy and estate at risk, the sons now must find out who the blackmailer is --and stop him before he ruins their future.

This story follows the efforts of the youngest son, Gerard. He plans to track down the blackmailer and silence him by whatever means necessary. But as a third son, he knows that even if he is successful, he'll need a wealthy bride to keep up his standard of living. Enter Katherine. She's heard about the scandal surrounding the Durham family and she presents herself to Gerard for marriage. She is a very wealthy widow, albeit a plain one, who has nursed a secret affection for him for years. Of course, he doesn't remember the one time they met years ago, but her offer and her sizable funds prove to be irresistible.

After a quick wedding, the two of them head out for Bath, so Gerard can continue his quest. Katherine, or Kate as he calls her, is quiet and kind of awkward. But Gerard quickly indoctrinates her into the ways of passion. They connect quickly in the bedroom, but Kate finds herself longing for a deeper connection with her husband. It's a pretty straightforward love story, as Gerard slowly realizes what a hidden gem his wife really is. In the meantime, Kate must learn to stop hiding behind the careful façade that she built to deal with her unkind mother and uncaring first husband.

I know I have said it before, but one of the reasons I like Caroline Linden books is because she doesn't rely on standard tropes to advance her stories. I never find myself rolling my eyes or annoyed by unnecessary misunderstandings. We're just watching two people grow and learn what it means to love. Oh yeah, and the sex is hot too.

We don't get much further in the blackmailing arc, but the story sets up Charlie's book nicely, where we're sure to see a resolution. I'm also happy to say that we got an appearance from Margaret, the heroine from "I Love the Earl." We get her perspective on the scandal surrounding her brother (the Duke) and we see how her HEA played out. I enjoyed this one. 4 stars.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lady Katherine Howe is feeling quite a bit of pressure to marry her late husbands heir in order to forgive a large debt that must be repaid to her otherwise. Her late husband squandered her entire dowry and her father gave him a loan that must now be repaid. But Katherine does not want to be forced into another marriage not of her choice so she comes up with a rather bold plan. She plans to propose to Gerard de Lacey--yes, that de Lacey of the wild rumors of illegitimacy--as she knows he will be in need of a large fortune if the rumors are true. But her deeper reason for wanting this marriage to the bold captain has to do with one long ago rainy afternoon in which he kindly helped her--a plain, quiet young lady.

Gerard is stunned when he receives a most unique proposal from this rather unremarkable looking woman. Kate, as Gerard grows to call her, is so careful with her wording and demeanor and he just can't understand why she wears such dull, drab clothing and as he is most intrigued to find out more about her, he agrees to her proposal. He steals a kiss and is relieved to find there is a bit of passion hiding underneath her facade. As Gerard was on his way to Bath to uncover clues as to who is blackmailing his family, he takes Kate with him as soon as they are married and together they try to find the right balance for their new marriage of convenience.

If you read the previous book in this series, One Night in London, this book takes place during the same time as that one but with hardly any overlapping as most of the story is set in Bath versus London. I was a bit surprised by this as the ending of One Night in London left me quite anxious for this one and I was a little disappointed that the reveal of what happened isn't almost until the end of this story. I understand that the whole book leads up to the dilemma Gerard got himself into but I was hoping for a bit more scandalous reveal I guess. *shrugs* Once Gerard finally confesses the reason for being in Bath to Kate, they are able to uncover some clues about the blackmailer but overall this book seemed a bit light in the illegitimacy issues and I would have liked it to move forward in that direction more.

I really enjoyed our two characters. I liked that Kate is not a raving beauty and is quiet and we get to see her emerge from her shell and transform into a lovely butterfly and I really enjoyed how Gerard saw her for her true self almost from the start. He quickly learns that getting Kate to smile is one of the best things to do and he loves to watch her transform when she gives a rare smile. Gerard for his part is brash, bold and a bit quick-tempered but he learns to curb this soon around his new wife as she divulges she suffered some abuse from her first husband. Together, they mesh and this is a sweet yet hot romance of two people finding love where they least expect it. Overall, I enjoyed this book for its uniqueness of no titles for the couple, a different location, an unassuming woman just waiting to be polished off a bit and a decisive hero. There really is no major action or danger to take away from the romance so it truly is a lovely romance to watch emerge. I know I am anxiously awaiting the final book in this series and the teaser already has me wanting it right now even though this book left me wanting a bit more from it. 3 1/2 stars
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a decent installment in Linden's The Truth About The Duke series but enjoyment of it will hinge on your tolerance for dependent heroines. After presenting herself as the Powerball Jackpot to Gerard's potential money problems Katherine is disappointed to find he doesn't talk to her or send her letters. Gerard, for his part, rescues her from the completely non dangerous villain of her tale and sets her up in Bath with friends, shops, and free time. (How dare he!). Despite asking for nothing, Katherine expects everything and is devastated when Gerard doesn't confide in her. A few jealous flounces later, Gerard realizes he loves her and gives up everything that was motivating him up to that point.

If you can find sympathy for Katherine, Blame It On Bath is a charming tale of two strangers working their way through their expectations and learning to communicate their needs. Free of manufactured peril, Katherine and Gerard's story unfolds as a tale of a new marriage built on assumptions and hopes. Well written and advancing the story enough, Blame it on Bath is a decent read. I couldn't warm up to Katherine and her inferiority issues. Gerard had far more patience with her than I could.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 2, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In an effort to save both of their reputations and provide some semblance for a descent life Katherine Howe and Captain Lord Gerard de Lacey, merge their lives in an agreed upon marriage. This should have been an uncomplicated relationship void of anything messy like love or commitment, yet Katherine is the romantic searching for more than a bed partner and Gerard is proving to be a wonderful surprise. Gerard on the other hand finds this the match necessary as his wealth had to be self-made, the curse of being the third son and all. With Katherine's money, Gerard can also find the person behind the attempt to ruin his family name and take away everything they own.

Rumors abound in London of the Durham Dilemma, family ruination, and the possibility of losing everything his family built their lives upon. Gerard is going to get out of London and the hunt for the blackmailer takes the newlyweds away from the whirlwind and puts them in a place no one knows them, Bath. Gerard search starts here and hopefully he can unfold the story of not only who is behind all this trouble make it stop. What Gerard also discovers is he quite likes marriage and Kate is a complete delight. Watching Kate grow from a reserved into a curious and adventurous woman is bringing a sense of joy to Gerard he never expected. A marriage of convenience this may have started out as but exhilaration is what it has become.

Katherine worries she is not enough, perhaps too old, and just not pretty enough yet every night Gerard reminds her that none of this is true. She helps Gerard release his demons and helps in the search but getting Gerard to understand that it is okay to love her is a more daunting task. Both of them are searching for something and when they find it, will that bring them closer or drive them apart.

Caroline Linden is an author who knows how to write great Historical Romance books. Ms. Linden provides fun, a sense of intrigue, and just the right amount of romance to make this a dazzling combination for success.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I have enjoyed Caroline Linden's books in the past, What A Gentleman Wants (Zebra Historical Romance) and A Rake's Guide to Seduction (Zebra Historical Romance) are amongst my top 50 ever favs. But I was disappointed with this book.

It started off really well. Lord Gerard de Lacey is the youngest son of a Duke who has just found out that his dead father had a bigamous marriage which means he is a bastard. He also finds out that his father was being blackmailed about this before he died. Determined to find out who the black mailer is, Gerard decides to head off to Bath to follow clues. But he is also mindful that he could become cast out of society and made penniless, thus he agrees to a marriage of convenience with Katherine, who is a very rich widow needing a protector. Katherine has been secretly in love with Gerard for years and prays that he will love her as much as she loves him. But he has other things on his mind. Question is: will Gerard recognise what he has before it is too late.

The reason I didn't think much of this book was that it started off strong but petered out. The blackmail story was really interesting, but Gerard gave up the search for the blackmailer once he decided he was in love with Katherine...why he does this, I cannot work out. Katherine appears to be in terrible danger from her dead husband's relative, but that all fizzles out. Even the relationship she has with her mother becomes something of nothing. We end up with a pretty uneventful story about two people are suddenly decide one day that they're in love, and that's about it. I will read the other two books in this series, and hope there is a little substance than in this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I recently read Caroline Linden's "Love and Other Scandals" and enjoyed it so much that I pulled "Blame It On Bath" from my archives, having only read about 40% the first time around before removing it from my kindle. I forced myself to finish it this time, and wish I had just left it in archives. If you're in the mood for a pick-me-up, this is not a good read; It's depressing. The heroine has serious self-esteem issues that follow her all the way to the end of the book. She never recovers. The "hero" only serves to reinforce her low sense-of-self by using sex as a means to "reach" his wife. And thus the vicious cycle begins. She wants to please him and so they have sex, after which she withdraws even further into herself because she feels she didn't please him. At one point, when the hero is trying to coax her into bed for the umpteenth time, the heroine asks "Why are you punishing me?" To which the hero responds that sex is hardly punishment. But in this book it is used as some sort of, almost sick, method of control to the extent that the heroine begins to believe that her self-worth lies in her ability to please her husband in bed. He capitalizes on her belief in a manner that makes him unlikeable and just downright gross. The heroine never recognizes her worth. I'm sure the author intended a happy ending somewhere. It's just not in this book. Perhaps it's in the sequel? I would check it out for myself, but after reading "Blame It On Bath" I'm too depressed to test that theory right now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Blame It on Bath by Caroline Linden is an excellent read about two people who were destined to meet. In the story we see a woman who does her duty early in life by marrying an older man because her options are limited. She is not beautiful in the current mode of the ton. That's how Katherine Howe feels in her life when she's faced with another marriage her fashionable and very pretty Mother wants.
So Katherine decides to take matters in hand and picks out her own spouse. The man whom she has had a tender affection for is Gerard de Lacey the son of the late Duke of Durham. So Katherine chases him down in an inn and asks him to marry her. Even though she knows this handsome, well built sexy man could never love someone like her, Katherine doesn't give up. Gerard is intrigued by this woman who leaves him speechless. Will they marry or won't they? You have to read this book to find out if this happens. I loved this story and will be reading the next installment titled The Way to a Duke's Heart.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second story in the trilogy of the De Lacey family. Both of the books are fantastic, great read. Wholeheartedly recommended. The hero is so charming and sweet. The heroine is likable and smart. This book is a keeper, I can read over and over again. Can't wait for the next book coming out in August.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This ticks all the boxes for me. Kate is a 30 year old widow. She has been put down all her life, her mother maried her off to an older, disinterested man who wanted only her money. Now she is being bullied into marriage with her dead husbands nephew so he can secure her fortune for himself. Kate rebels at last and picks her own husband and rum away to marry. Gerard has his own problems and the book continues the story of the Durham dilemma. While this can be read alone it would be best if you read these in order. This is great historical romance. I have read a few duds lately and I wondered if perhaps I was just tired of this genre but this restores my faith!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
BLAME IT ON BATH: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DUKE by Caroline Linden is an exciting historical romance. It is the second in the "The Truth About The Duke" trilogy,but can be read as a stand alone. See "One Night in London". What an exciting addition to the historical romance community. I so enjoy this series on three brothers,who learn their father's deathbed secret that could cause them to lose their inheritance and their status in society,and is being blackmailed or so it seems. "Blame It On Bath" is the story of Gerard de Lacey,the youngest of the de Lacey siblings,a war hero, who marries for convenience. And Katherine Howe,an heiress,a widow who needs a marriage of convenience to not have marry her dead husband's nephew and who has had a secret affection for de Lacey for years.But a marriage of convenience can turn into love. With secrets,a blackmailer,adventure,sweet sensuality,a sexy,charismatic hero and a heroine who has been belittled but comes out of her shell,although older than the hero only by a couple of years, how could you not enjoy this fast paced read with its interesting cast of characters. I wonder who is really trying to destroy the de Lacey name,status and make them miserable. I can hardly wait for the final installment into this great story of three brothers who are not only looking for answers but who meet the loves of there lives quiet by accident. A must read. Received for an honest review from Net Galley and the publisher. Details can be found at Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishing,the author's website, and My Book Addiction and More.

RATING; 4.5

HEAT RATING: MILD

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More
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