When A Duke Loves A Woman by Lorraine Heath

When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2)When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath

My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

Series: Sins for All Seasons #2
Publication Date: 8/21/18

The Sins for All Seasons series tells the stories of six ‘siblings’ raised by Ettie Trewlove in the rookeries of London. These were all abandoned children left on her doorstep, poor illegitimate babies, and she took them all in and loved them. Though the children are not related by blood, they are raised as siblings and they all share a love of their Mum, Ettie Trewlove. I have not read the first book in the series, but I don’t feel that detracted from this book. The book is well written and well plotted, but it is highly improbable, so leave all you know about the social norms of this time period in the closet before you begin to read.

Gillian ‘Gillie’ Trewlove was left on Ettie Trewlove’s doorstep when she was only hours old. There were no clues about her or her parents. Ettie already had four boys to raise, but couldn’t help but love the sweet little baby girl dropped on her doorstep. Ettie was careful to raise Gillie so that she understood what could happen to a young girl in the rookeries. She dressed her as a boy and she taught her to stand up for herself and to defend herself. Those lessons served Gillie well as she matured and came to own her own tavern in Whitechapel. Everybody loved Gillie who is a strong, self-confident, generous, caring woman who gives back to the community with food and care. I enjoyed Gillie and it was nice to see her come to embrace her femininity.

Anthony Coventry, the ninth Duke of Thornley is thirty-six years old and became a duke at the age of fifteen. His parents were stiff, cold and unloving – so how would he ever recognize love if he saw it? At the urging of his best friend and to fulfill a deathbed promise he made to his father, he had finally agreed to marry the woman everyone had planned for him to marry. Then, she left him standing at the altar. Thorne is a very honorable man and he is very, very embarrassed by what happened. He has to find Lavinia – just to assure she is alright and to find out why she felt that she needed to run rather than just talk to him. Boy, was that a mistake. She had fled to Whitechapel and after getting totally foxed, he headed after her. Now, he is lying in a filthy alleyway in Whitechapel with his life’s blood flowing out of him from at least three stab wounds. He knows he is about to die – then, he hears the voice of an angel.

I loved both Gillie and Thorne and I believe that they could and did love each other. I just find it very hard to believe that a duke – even today – would defy everything in his social class and marry an illegitimate tavern owner from the rookeries. Then, to expect that it would all be forgotten socially just because he was a duke and his mother could influence opinions. No – I enjoyed the story, but it was definitely not believable. Cinderella was more believable since she was actually the daughter of a nobleman.

Also, I had a puzzled frown on my face whenever Thorne’s age was mentioned. It didn’t take anything away from the story – just something about it puzzled me. It didn’t bother me enough to plow back through the book to figure it all out, but – the book plainly states that he is thirty-six. At one point it mentions that he inherited the dukedom when he was fifteen. At another point, there is a conversation with his mother (speaking about his father) when he says “It’s been nearly a dozen years since his passing.” If you add those – he’d be twenty-six and not thirty-six.

I enjoyed the read, but I did find myself skimming parts of it as it seemed a little slow. The characters were lovable and I liked them all – especially Robin and Gillie’s brothers.

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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.”

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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