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The Dangerous Duke of Dinnisfree (A Whisper of Scandal Novel Book 5) Kindle Edition
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In the latest A WHISPER OF SCANDAL NOVEL, THE DANGEROUS DUKE OF DINNISFREE, we have the duke, Justin Holleman, who has been in service to the crown for some time now. His oath to protect the crown above all else keeps him focused, and his complacency in all other areas of his life, leaves him unable to form relationships beyond the surface. Now, the Prince Regent has given Justin the task of retrieving love letters that Prinny sent to his mistress, which if were made public, would cause trouble for the prince's game of divorcing his wife. His loyalty to his prince comes at a cost.
Miss Arabella Carthright is frantic over her inability to pay for her mother's stay at the Stanhope Home for the Mentally Impaired. The young miss spends her time crafting gowns for the ton. Even though things are grim for Arabella, the gowns she has made for the wealthy Lady Conyngham should render enough coin for the home. Unfortunately when Arabella arrives, Lady Conyngham is in a tizzy over something and takes her bad mood out on the seamstress. Lady Conyngham refuses the gowns and furthermore promises to tell Arabella's boss about the issue, which will undoubtedly leave Arabella without a job. Not only is Arabella's mother in the home, but her father is recovering from a stroke and cannot help in the day to day either. Everything is on poo Arabella's shoulders.
When Arabella exits Lady Conyngham's rooms, she is met by a mysterious man who offers to help her gain coin. Desperation makes Arabella do things she would never have though possible before, thus embroiling her in danger as well as trouble. When Justin meets Miss Carthright feelings emerge that he tries to hide deep down, but her tenacity and her beauty cause his emotions to rise for this troubled woman. The more involved the duke and the miss become, the more dangerous and exciting things morph into and the emotions that rise between Justin and Arabella could lead to demise or ecstasy. Which will actually overrule?
THE DANGEROUS DUKE OF DINNISFREE is a fast-paced, well written tale of intrigue as well as romance. Ms. Johnstone is so savvy at merging the two that she has earned a top spot on my favorite author list. I feel Arabella's sorrow and desperation, her need to make sure her family survives. Justin's past has so much to do with his present stance on life, but it is so fascinating to watch his progression from the seemingly cold man of duty, to a man who would do anything for the woman he ultimately loves. Two thumbs up for this fifth tale in A WHISPER OF SCANDAL series by the very talented Julie Johnstone.
Justin, the Duke of Dinnisfree has turned off his emotions and refuses to engage in society unless it is in the service of the king. A King he is finding it harder and harder to like, let alone respect. He has had no role models in his life for love and compassion, but is always rescuing and providing for those that are abused and taken advantage of. He is not one to suffer fools lightly.
Arabella Carthright is a seamstress trying desperately to provide for herself and her parents, yet they are flirting with destitution and lead her to believe she is out of options. She has come to know she can only depend on herself, others find ways to disappoint and/or fail her. She is strong and smart and finds it difficult to trust anyone. Like Justin she has a nurturing side that wants and needs to take care of and even fix others in need.
Unwittingly Arabella is drawn into intrigue involving the king and queen, their possible divorce and potential scandal Prinny always seems to find. As Arabella is manipulated she meets Justin expecting one thing and finding protection unlike what she had planned. While Justine tries to protect Arabella his instincts say she is innocent, but his spy side is screaming CAUTION! They are a very good team, they just have to get out of their own way and embrace trust.
Ms. Johnstone has created characters that I instantly identified with and wanting them to succeed. The pace of the conversations and the back story kept me turning pages and I was sad to see the story end. Her villains were intricate and well thought out leaving a sour taste after each encounter and cheering when they get their comeuppance. The secondary characters brought humor and lightness to Justin’s character that was refreshing and left you knowing that he DID have people that cared in his life, he just needed to accept that level of interaction. The twists and turns Ms Johnstone wove into Justin and Arabella’s HEA brought surprises and aha moments to the story. This is book 5 in the Whisper of Scandal series, but can be read alone, however, you will find yourself wanting to go back and catch up with the scandals.