Series: Wicked Dukes Club #6
Publication Date: 6/25/19
Goodness! This turned out to be a delightful read. I had been concerned about this one because it concerned a rector – and frankly – I just didn’t want to read a sexy romp starring a clergyman. The author handled it beautifully and the love story was really lovely and the rector was a good and honorable man right to the end. Kudos to the author for managing to do that.
The story was also a good wrap-up for the series. We got to catch up with all of the previous couples in the series as they each played at least a small part in our current couple’s HEA. I would have loved it even more if it had an epilogue. Something 5, 10, 15, however many years into the future – maybe at a gathering at one of the Ducal estates. We could see how all of the couples had weathered the storms of life and how each couple’s family and love had grown. Maybe we could even learn that there were some really nasty things that happened to the villains in the stories – like Penelope’s father (maybe even mother) in this story.
Lady Penelope Wakefield is the child of cold, unfeeling, uncaring and cruel parents. Her only use to her father is to further his aims – since he is already rich, he’ll use her for political gain. He plans to formally betroth her to a lecherous old man who is old enough to be her grandfather. For once in her life, Penelope has had enough and decides to take action to save herself. However, having been sheltered her entire life – with no friends at all – she is extremely naïve and puts her trust in the wrong person. Instead of a ‘fake’ kidnapping, she walks into a real one. Lucky for her, she’s rescued by the most compassionate and caring man she has ever seen. As she tells him her tale of woe, she doesn’t see pity or disdain on his face. There is only compassion there and he agrees not to immediately return her to her home and parents. He’ll assist her in staying away overnight and will then return her the next day. That overnight stay doesn’t go exactly as planned and they spend a lot of time talking and getting to know each other.
Rector Hugh Tarleton comes from a well-to-do family but has absolutely no use for the people in society. Well – except for the dukes and others at the Wicked Dukes Club – but – they are all different. Hugh recognizes Lady Penelope as soon as he sees her and comes to her rescue. He can’t abide the idea that she’ll be forced to marry the man she describes, so he goes along with her staying away from home overnight so she can be ‘ruined’.
Yet, the plan goes awry and her parents manage to keep news of her ‘kidnapping’ from becoming known – even to her ‘betrothed’. That means the marriage is still in the plan. Now, she’s watched constantly, there is no way to escape. She just really wishes the earth would open up and swallow her rather than leaving her to this fate.
You will absolutely adore Hugh. He is the kindest, most caring and honorable man you’ll meet in a book. He’s the real deal. He’s a rector because that is what he chose to be – not because that is something his family expected a younger son to become. His father actually encouraged him to pursue another profession. You will also love Penelope who is kind and caring and you have to wonder how she could have possibly turned out that way given her parentage. She’s never been comforted, held, loved or cared for in any way at all.
I absolutely loved the two of them together. He’s such a hero – and she has finally learned to stand up for herself and what she wants. The wedding scene was wonderful – I won’t tell you about it because it would spoil it, but it really is great.
I highly recommend this read and I hope you love it as much as I did.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.