Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Duke Dynasty, #2
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Lady Gwyn Drake has a history with Lionel Malet that goes back much further than their recent encounter when he tried to abduct a heiress. He is blackmailing her and if she doesn’t pay, he says he will tell the press about the affair they had ten years ago and ruin her. Gwyn never told anyone about the one night she spent in his bed or the consequences and will do anything to keep her secrets. Thinking she can intimidate him, she pulls a gun, but is quickly disarmed and would have been in trouble if she wasn’t saved from him by Major Joshua Wolfe. A man she has long been attracted to and who clearly doesn’t feel the same, or so she thinks.
Joshua is the current Duke of Armitage’s cousin and acting estate gamekeeper. Joshua was gravely wounded in battle years ago and is desperate to return to active duty. His letters to the War Office have been ignored, so when Gwyn’s brother the Duke of Thornstock asks him to act as her bodyguard in London, he agrees and hopes that he can finally get some answers from the War Office and keep his attraction to Gwyn a secret. He feels unworthy of her, even though he is the grandson of a duke and a war hero.
He is not sure what is going on with Gwyn and Malet, but he thinks there is more than what Thorn and Gwyn have told him and when there is an attempt to sabotage their coach, he is sure of it. He is determined to get answers and keep Gwyn at arm’s length – but she won’t make it easy!
I thought this was a great addition to the series. Gwyn and Joshua are both a little broken and both have trust issues, they are clearly perfect for each other, but neither is going to make the journey to HEA a smooth ride! The book has some amusing dialogue, a lot of secrets, a bit of intrigue, some steamyish love scenes, a great supporting cast of characters, a nasty villain and finally HEA. I did feel like the book dragged a bit towards the end and I was disappointed that Gwyn never actually says “I love you” to Joshua – it is implied, but for me – it’s not the same. This is the second book in the series, but there is also a linked novella in the anthology Seduction on a Snowy Night that is Heywood and Cass’s story and the events in that book are closely linked to this story – so while this book is easily read as a standalone, I would recommend reading the novella “A Perfect Match” if you want a bit more backstory. Overall, I am happy to recommend this book and I look forward to the next installment.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*