Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Rogues To Riches #5
Publication Date: 11/10/20
Number of Pages: 400
I had a few trepidations about beginning this book – NOT because I thought it wouldn’t be well written or that it wouldn’t be a wonderful story. No, it was because I absolutely LOVED Robert in A Duke by Any Other Name, where Robert’s brother Nathaniel found his HEA, and we learned what a tragic life Robert had. From what we learned in that book, we knew more strife was on the way, and I just didn’t want to see him go through it. I was so afraid he’d be confined to a madhouse again – at least for a little while – and I just didn’t want to see it. Well, I should not have feared – I should have known. The author handled it all wonderfully and wonderful Robert was triumphant and the baddies got their due – well – some of their due anyway. I’d have preferred more, but I’m a bloodthirsty lady.
Robert Rothmere, Duke of Rothaven, was imprisoned (there isn’t a better word for it) in a private asylum at the age of ten – because he had the falling sickness (epilepsy) and his father was ashamed. To make matters worse, his father had him declared legally dead so his brother could assume the title. Robert spent a great many years there, being tortured with ice baths, deprivation, starvation, beatings, isolation, well, you name it and it happened to Robert. Then, five years ago, after his father died, his brother discovered he was alive and immediately retrieved him from the asylum. To say that Robert had phobias and eccentricities is putting it mildly, but he’s been slowly working his way through them – at least now he can go outside – as long as it is in a walled garden. When he again encounters the woman who saved his life while he was in the asylum, he has even more reason to fight to overcome all of his liabilities and become the duke he needs to be.
Lady Constance Wentworth has secrets – deep secrets – most in her family aren’t even aware of them. She has spent the last several years making herself unnoticeable – basically blending into the background. She is ‘perfect’. She always says the perfect thing. She never speaks out of turn. She conducts herself with the most upright respectability. All because she won’t bring shame to her family whose beginnings are pretty shaky to begin with. However, there was a time… Constance once ran away and took menial work at an asylum. There, she became close to the residents and saw their mistreatment. There was one young man who was horribly abused and they became close friends – until her brother found her and took her home.
Now, years later, Constance’s sister is marrying Robert’s brother. This, of course, brings Robert and Constance together as well and their feelings for each other are reignited. I loved how Constance’s support for Robert never, ever faltered. She’s also one smart cookie and helped Robert overcome his phobias as well as his foes.
I thought Lady Constance was the perfect match for Robert and I don’t think the story could have been told any better than it was. It was delightful to watch these two come into their own. I am so glad I decided to read it and I hope you will be as well.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.