Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Duke’s Bastards #3
Publication Date: 8/18/20
Number of Pages: 242
This is a great addition to the Duke’s Bastards series (or The Duke’s By-Blows since Amazon doesn’t like the word Bastards). As always, I loved the characters, the steaminess, the plot and, of course, the writing was first-class. I loved Nicholas in the last book especially and could hardly wait for his book – and it was well worth the wait. While the book is part of a series, you can read it as a standalone. I can’t imagine why you’d want to do that because the series is wonderful – but you can.
Lady Aurora Lovell and Nicholas Gillingham grew up together and then they loved each other, and then they went their separate ways. They didn’t part deliberately – each thought the other had betrayed them – but parted they were – for almost ten years. She married – unhappily – and he became a badly wounded war hero.
Aurora, now a widow, leaves London for a house party at the Duke of Roseford’s estate because she is in the middle of a scandal. She was caught in a brothel while looking for her best friend – trying to rescue her. No matter the reason she was there, she is forever tarnished.
Nicholas has been trying to recover from his grievous wounds for the past two years and while he is greatly improved, he’s not completely healed. Since he was injured saving others – including a nobleman’s son – the crown has been considering bestowing a Marquessate on him. He REALLY wants that marquessate! He wants that power that goes with it so nothing can ever be taken from him again. ** I’m sure the author must have researched it, but, I thought the crown could bestow a title when, where, and to whom they wanted. This book makes it seem as if there has to be a campaign and meetings and…. Well, you name it. **
Nicholas’s half-brother, Robert, decides to have a house party and invite many guests of influence to help Nicholas in his quest for the title. Robert’s wife also invites a new friend to the party. When those two meet – WOW! Nicholas’s breath is sucked right out of his body and Aurora’s jaw drops. How could this be? It is like they never parted – and in their hearts, they never did.
Will Aurora and Nicholas let the past keep them from having a future? Can each forgive the other and themselves? What will happen with the Marquessate if Nicholas associates himself with scandal-ridden Aurora? Can Aurora find and rescue her friend? Oh! My Goodness – you’ll just have to read the book to find out. BTW – there is a nice set-up for the next book – and it looks like it will be a great read as well.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.