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on September 22, 2012
I rarely write reviews but struggled so long to get through this book that I had to say something. I have read many books by Caroline Linden and she has been on my short-list of authors for some time, but this book makes me rethink that. The book was easily 85% monologue. We spent so much time in the heads of the protagonists that I wanted to scream. It wouldn't have been bad if they had at least been interesting. They spent so much time thinking and rethinking that I just started skipping pages. Even doing that I missed nothing. There was no chemistry between the H & H, who struck me as dull and one- dimensional. The reader was absolutely beat over the head head with past transgressions, regrets, recriminations - in their heads. Wow, get on with it. the story was probably 20 pages. In reality you felt no weight or connection because you didn't experience the story, you were told, second-hand through their thoughts....again...and again...and again. Event relationships were forced and the reader, or at least I, was completely disengaged from the story. It was a forced conclusion to a promising trilogy.
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on August 28, 2012
Charles de Lacey, Earl of Gresham, has grown up knowing his duty is to be the duke one day and when someone threatens his families claim to the title, he sets about to find out the truth. Surely is moral, uptight father wasn't married before his own mother, therefore disclaiming Charlie and his brothers? After all, his father prevented Charlie from marry a 'nobody' and it changed his relationship with him forever. He turned into a scoundrel and enjoyed life and left the estate running to his brother and almost disregarded his fathers claims but his brothers force him to take charge of his own life. After all, it is Charlie's dukedom, not theirs. Upon his travels to meet the man that mailed the blackmail letters, he meets a most intriguing young lady, Tessa Neville. When it becomes clear that Tessa knows the supposed blackmailer, he befriends her and follows her about the countryside to meet this man and determine if Tessa is in any way involved. But Tessa slowly slides her way into every aspect of Charlie's life, leaving him wanting her forever but Tessa, just a common young woman, knows that she will never be good enough to be a duchess. Can Charlie discover the truth about his father's past and at the same time, finally find some peace and happiness he has longed for with Tessa?

Finally, the long awaited conclusion to the Durham Dilemma! I was very pleased with how the whole mystery aspect turned out. It had a couple little twists that I wasn't expecting (well, I didn't know what to expect truthfully lol) and I also liked that it was not an over-the-top conclusion. I enjoyed watching the romance bloom between Charlie and Tessa. Tessa was so much fun to read--she is smart (she is investigating whether to invest in a new canal system being built), strong, confident and not afraid to speak her mind. This is a bit of an amusement to Charlie since everyone always treats him with a bit of reverence due to a future duke. Tessa stands up to him but also relies on him when help is needed. I also liked Charlie's back story and watching him transform from a scoundrel to a man deeply in love and doing whatever it takes to win her heart. Overall, a very solid conclusion to a very enjoyable series. I was a bit bogged down by the telling of inner thoughts versus showing more of those thoughts through more conversation, which I personally just prefer more of. However, Caroline Linden has made me a fan of hers through this series and I look forward to what she comes up with next! Recommended for fans of strong, intelligent heroines paired with a hero who is bent on finding the truth and stumbles headlong into love mixed with a mystery that will keep you guessing. 4 stars

*review copy*
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on August 28, 2012
I love almost everything about this book. Linden finishes her The Truth About The Duke series with the best of the three. In fact, I liked The Way To A Duke's Heart so much I think you should go ahead and start there. (Nothing really happens in the prior books that is vital to the third.) Our heroine is an awkward businesswoman on a mission. With her brother considering investment in the latest canal scheme Tessa is off to investigate the legitimacy of this enterprise. Trusted by her family, unable to trust those outside it, Tessa doesn't want to suck up to a charmer in the hotel lobby. Since Tessa might hold the key to Charlie's dilemma, he charms her elderly companion instead. He pretends an interest in the canal investment as a pretext for investigating Tessa's involvement in his dilemma. Continuing Linden's tradition of bucking some time honored Regency conventions it turns out that Tessa is a completely disinterested bystander. She has nothing at all to do with the mysterious blackmailer that's been mucking up Charlie's life. Nor is she willing to be a diversion while Charlie evades his responsibilities.

The evolution of Charlie from sulky party boy to Duke Of Tessa's Dreams is very well done. Both characters know who they are and (more importantly) why they are. Tessa and Charlie offer each other the same thing - someone to take them seriously and hold them accountable. While she guides him toward responsibility he leads her into frivolity. They are well suited to each other and to the plot. It's a nice balance Linden maintains for almost the whole of the book. My only complaint about The Way To A Duke's Heart arrives shortly after The Truth About The Duke is revealed. The truth itself is satisfying in content and execution. The events just following that are a failure for me. A late book introduction of a person from Charlie's past shows a very uncaring, almost cowardly side of him. His interaction with this couple detracts from the gains he's otherwise made. This kept the book from being a five star read for me, but it still hits four stars easily. Great read.
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on September 25, 2012
After reading the first two books in this series, I had had enough of the Duke's Dilemma ( known as the Durham Dilemma) and I wanted answers to the blackmail letters. After being led on a wild goose chase, the reader finds out that this whole mess could have been solved sooner, if Charles, the eldest brother and heir to the Dukedom, came forward with his secrets, instead of being prideful and letting his two younger brother's, Edward and Gerard, try to solve their legitimacy issues themselves. Considering he had the most to lose, one would think that this mystery should have engaged him from the beginning but he was too angry with his father and wouldn't forgive him, even on his deathbed, because his father wouldn't accept his infatuation with a young girl, Maria, whom he wanted to marry. His father knew he was too young and that Maria was an opportunist. Charlie's father knew from his own youth, how foolish mistakes can ruin your life.

After years of being a rogue..rake..scoundrel (you pick), he finally helps his brothers with this mission and meets Tessa Neville along the way. She is different then any woman he has ever known. She is fiercely intelligent, with an aptitude for numbers and knowledge of investments. She also had trouble in her youth that left her to go off and live with her aunt, change her name and then come back into her families good graces. She manages her brother's accounts and goes to seek out an investment of a canal being built. That is when she runs into Charles, who is know as Lord Gresham at this point in the book. He escorts her to the canal, feigning interest in the project, when his real reason is to seek answers to the brother's blackmail problems.

I say skip books 1 and 2 and go straight for the meat..this book. Unless, you find it necessary to know all details of all the brother's this book will give you enough background about them that you won't be dissatisfied.
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on September 2, 2012
Charles de Lacey, Earl of Gresham, was born and raised with one goal in mind: to prepare him for the day when he would become the Duke of Durham. However, just before he died, the previous duke revealed a shocking secret: he was married to someone before he married Charlie's mother...and he never divorced his first wife. On top of that, someone is blackmailing the de Lacey family - someone who knows of the deceased duke's secret. Charlie must discover who the blackmailer is, for it is the only lead he has on his quest to determine whether or not he will inherit the title he was born to take. His youngest brother has tracked the blackmailer as far as Bath, and now the one link Charlie has to the blackmailer is beautiful widow Tessa Neville. Charlie's drawn to the spirited Tessa, but with his fortune, reputation, and title at stake, can he put his trust in a woman who may be a co-conspirator in the plot to ruin him?

The truth about the duke is finally uncovered in The Way to a Duke's Heart! Caroline Linden has delivered a wonderfully entertaining conclusion to the de Lacey family series with Charlie's book. I admit, I had high expectations of Charlie after seeing him in his brothers' books (One Night in London and Blame It on Bath), and happily, Charlie more than lived up to my hopes for him as a hero. On the surface, he's a carefree, rakish lord. Beneath the genial façade, however, lies a man who's been hurt numerous times by his father, the man he looked up to. Charlie needs someone to love him and stand by him, and Tessa is just the woman to do so. Tessa is as brilliant as she is beautiful, an atypical Regence-era woman who struggles against sexism. Just as Charlie needs a partner like her, Tessa needs a partner like Charlie; one who respects and admires her intelligence, and doesn't let others get away with giving Tessa less than her due. Tessa and Charlie make a wonderful couple who fit one another in every way, making it easy to fall in love with The Way to a Duke's Heart.

Aside from the romance, what I was looking forward to the most in The Way to a Duke's Heart was Charlie solving the series-long mystery of what happened to Durham's first wife. Are the de Lacey brothers legitimate? Well, I wouldn't dream of spoiling the book by telling you. I will say that - had I not liked Charlie, Tessa, and Tessa's elderly cousin Eugenie so much - I would've been tempted to speed through a lot of the book because I so desperately wanted to find out the answer. Ms. Linden definitely makes the outcome worth the buildup, though.

There's a lot riding on The Way to a Duke's Heart since it's the conclusion of the series, and I applaud Ms. Linden for making the story work beautifully both as a standalone and as part of the Truth About the Duke series. While you don't have to have read One Night in London and Blame It on Bath to enjoy The Way to a Duke's Heart, I highly recommend reading them for their own merits, along with the prequel to the series, I Love the Earl, a fantastic romance involving Charlie's aunt.

The Way to a Duke's Heart is a lovely book that is sure to delight readers. I simply adored Charlie and Tessa's romance and I highly recommend the Truth About the Duke series to anyone who enjoys smartly-written historical romances.

Shayna for Joyfully Reviewed
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on August 28, 2012
I've been a fan of Caroline Linden since I read "I love the earl" and "what a gentleman wants". When I saw "One night in London" I got the book right away and fell madly in love with De Lacey brothers. I have all 3 books about the De Lacey brothers and all of them are wonderful but I love Edward the most. I was so curious about Charlie's story and the truth about their Father's first marriage. Charlie is a very charming and handsome hero and the heroine is likable also. It's a very sweet romantic story with a blend of mystery solving. Totally recommended.
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on September 3, 2012
I had not read a Caroline Linden book before reading this one. I enjoy historical romance for the story, the usually strong female characters, a peak into history, and the fun of a happy ending. This book fits all those criteria. This is the third in a trilogy, but can be read as a stand alone without any problem. There is a bit of a mystery to the story, only a slight reflection of the old gothic romances of yesterday. 'The Way to a Duke's Heart' fits nicely in the current popular Regency romance category. And while I am looking forward to reading about Charlie's brothers (the other two in the trilogy), I am also wondering about Tessa's family. It is not for lack of character development, but perhaps other linked books or novellas would tell those stories. I'll be looking for other books by Ms. Linden.
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on September 8, 2012
I won't recap the plot (since others have) but I will say the main characters really caught and held my interest from start to finish. This book was FUN! The plot propelled me through so fast that I was sad and a bit breathless when I finished it, and immediately went back for a second take on my favorite parts. And my favorite parts were over half the book! Good, believable and funny dialog, and enough detail to feel authentic, without the author smacking you in the face with a "look at how much research I did!" sign. I enjoyed every book in this series, and found each one to be fresh and different. So many of these family or series books can really get repetitive, but Linden's three heros and three heroines all defied stereotypes and didn't fade into cartoonish sketches. Well done!
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on August 28, 2012
The worst thing about this book is that it ends the series! Ms. Linden's style of writing is descriptive and entertaining. This book in particular wrapped up the series well with a few twists and turns. I was worried, from reading the first 2 books, how the author would manage to make the lead male character likable since I did not like him at all! But once she allowed you into his head and see his reasoning and unnoticed actions, he became a heart catching hero. While one could read this on its own, I would recommend reading the other books in the series first.
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on September 4, 2012
I was super excited for this book to be released. I like the typical "bad boy" turns good story lol. To find out why he acts the way he does in the other books is great. Because in the first book especially I really didn't like him too much, but I knew I would come to in the end. It is a great read and I would definitely recommend this book and the connecting books as well.
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