The Undercover Duke by Jess Michaels
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The 1797 Club #6
Publication Date: 3/27/18
Another winning read in Jess Michael’s 1797 Club series. This one is slightly different simply because we have never met this particular member of the club before and the members of the club don’t show up at all until we’re about half-way through the book. That was kind of nice because we got the opportunity to know the main characters before we started interacting with the other members of the club. That said, I think I would have enjoyed a bit more active participation from the club rather than them playing a pretty passive role.
Lucas Vincent, Duke of Willowby, had a very unhappy life. Both of his parents hated him and he had no idea why until he was about sixteen. Then, everything blew apart. Luckily for him, he had made friends with a number of other future dukes when he started school. Almost all of them have horrible parents and they banded together to help each other through life. When Lucas was eighteen, his father died and Lucas became the duke. Lucas wanted no part of the duchy and he started to work for the Crown as a spy. He had determined that it was his destiny to die in the field and he cut all ties with his friends in order to protect them – from enemies who wanted to harm him and from any grief they might suffer on his demise.
Diana Oakford lost her mother when she was very young and had only her father left in her life. He was a gifted physician who was tasked with taking care of her country’s spies. When her father dies on a mission, she is heartbroken beyond belief. She is a gorgeous woman with dark hair and full lips and the most spectacular jade colored eyes and she is also a healer like her father
Lucas was on a very, very secret mission trying to capture a traitor who had caused the deaths of several spies and had also stolen secrets and sold them to the enemy. The worst part – that traitor is one of their very own spies. When Lucas sees George Oakford (Diana’s father) peeking from behind some shrubbery, he is surprised, but pleased to have some aid. Then, as Lucas is beginning to climb up the trellis to enter the house and capture the spy, shots ring out. Lucas is hit in the leg, loses his balance and falls, then another shot – and another. Lucas stirs to consciousness for a second and sees the dead body of George Oakford beside him. Grief! Then blackness.
Lucas’ injuries were grave and he wasn’t recovering well after six months. His wounds were not healing up as they should and his pain was almost unbearable. The Earl of Stalwood, Lucas’ boss, and head spymaster, needed Lucas back in action and he wanted to help his friend, so he approached Diana Oakford to take over Lucas’ treatment. Stalwood seemed to think that it might give both of them a chance to heal – Lucas from his injuries and guilt over the death of George and Diana from the loss of her father.
The attraction between Lucas and Diana is instant and it doesn’t take them long to get down to business – like rabbits. I thought that all happened a bit too quickly but I liked them as a couple. They complimented each other very well. Once they shared their deepest and darkest secrets they became even more invested in each other. Diana doesn’t trust men though and when she feels Lucas has betrayed secrets, she leaves him.
For me personally, I would have liked for the book to be just a bit longer and to include more action by the club members. The addition of an epilogue would have been good – maybe to be six months or so after the wedding and maybe show some development between Lucas and his mother. Another thing I would have liked to have seen is what happened to the family of Boyd Caldwell. I know what happened to George and would have liked to know if a similar fate befell Boyd’s family since it befell Diana.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the series is wonderful. I can highly recommend it.
The other books in the series are:
The Daring Duke #1
Her Favorite Duke #2
The Broken Duke #3
The Silent Duke #4
The Duke of Nothing #5
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”