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Loving The Lost Duke (Dangerous Deceptions Book 1) Kindle Edition
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This book is both a romance and a mystery story. Beyond the Heyer references, there is little to distinguish the romance, a rather staid and standard offering. He has been hurt and doesn't believe in love. So has she. They are very attracted to each other and become engaged, but agree that they will only ever be friends, although they instantly feel mutual affection and concern for each other. But when love staggers onto the stage, each feels the need to call off the engagement rather than "hurt" the other by offering love. I've never really understood that trope. It seems like an artificial device dreamed up by HR authors.
The mystery, on the other hand, is quite good. The H inherited his fortune and title at the age of 7. He was placed in the care of his uncle and aunt and raised with their son, a lad a few years older than the young duke.
As he grew up, the H was subject to puzzling illnesses and nearly fatal accidents. When he reached his majority, he fled England to travel the world--and his health concerns ended.
At the start of the story, the H has returned home to resolve the questions of his childhood problems--and find someone to marry.
There are enough red herrings tossed about to fill an aquarium. The reader is pushed in many different directions. Sorting it all out is fun and the best part of the book.
Miss Sophia Wilmott’s view of romance and courtship is nowhere near as idealistic and hopeful as that of other girls her age. Indeed, Sophia’s view is jaded, cynical and informed by a sorrowful episode in her past which she cannot seem to be able to put behind her. While Sophia is well aware that she is expected to marry and make a suitable match with an eligible and distinguished gentleman of the Ton, she is adamant that her choice will not be driven by idyllic fantasies of romantic bliss, but by sound reasoning and sensible judgement. However, Sophia hadn’t counted on the legendary – and dashing! – Lord of Calderbrook, reappearing in society after years living away from England. Cal has attracted the attention of every single young woman and matchmaking mama in London, however, he seems to have eyes for only one woman: Sophia…
It’s been years since Cal last set foot in England, but when circumstances compelled him to return back on English soil, he had found himself with no other option but to give into his misgivings and go back home. But his return back to England is fraught with apprehension and uneasiness. As a child, Cal had been prone to falling ill with alarming regularity, however, when he’d left his home behind, the medical afflictions that had plagued him and almost cost him his life on many an occasion had mysteriously disappeared. Cal is convinced more than ever that someone who is very close to him is desperately trying to kill him and to keep him away from what is rightfully his and he is determined to catch this dangerous enemy and vanquish him from his life once and for all. The one thing Cal cannot afford is to get distracted from his quest – so why can’t he stop thinking about Miss Sophia Wilmott and her guinea gold hair?
Cal knows that he is in danger up to his neck and he certainly does not need to entangle anyone else in his web of peril and jeopardy, but he finds himself unable to resist Sophia. As sizzling attraction gives way to something deeper, Cal and Sophia soon give into desire and succumb to temptation, but with their enemies circling closer and closer, does their love stand any chance of surviving? Or will their fledgling relationship be terminated prematurely by treacherous foes who wish them nothing but harm?
Louise Allen is a true virtuoso of the genre and she is on top form with her spellbinding new novel, Loving the Lost Duke. Expertly blending passion, intrigue, adventure, suspense and humour, Loving the Lost Duke is a thrilling and engrossing Regency romance with an intelligent heroine readers will love and a handsome hero who gives Mr Darcy a run for his money in the swoon-worthy stakes!
A riveting, evocative and wonderfully romantic read that will touch readers’ hearts and keep them on the edge of their seats, Loving the Lost Duke is an outstanding Regency read from Louise Allen’s superb pen!