Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Dukes Heiresses #2
Publication Date: 4/27/21
Number of Pages: 304
** 3.5 Stars Rounded Up **
As we learned in the first book of the series, Heiress for Hire, the Duke of Hollinburgh changed his will just prior to his mysterious death. That change was to the detriment of his family and to the benefit of three women the family doesn’t know. Now, they have to find those women and give them their very sizable inheritances. Once you meet the duke’s brothers and sisters, you’ll definitely understand why the duke would want to leave them out of the will, but the ones he really hurt were his nephews – and he was really close to them. Those nephews also have to solve the mystery of their uncle’s death. I don’t think the duke was trying to hurt his nephews – I think he was matchmaking. The first book saw his nephew Chase find a love match with the heiress Minerva – and this one pairs up his nephew Kevin with the heiress Rosamund. Nothing in this book furthered the investigation into the duke’s death, so that thread will either fizzle out and go nowhere or maybe it will be finally solved in the next book.
Inventor Kevin Radnor is incensed at what his uncle has done to him. Kevin has invented a part that will eventually be used in every steam engine that is made. It is unique and he’s very, very secretive about it because someone else could easily steal it. He is incensed that his uncle, who was a fifty-percent partner, has left his portion of the enterprise to some woman nobody has ever heard of. They’ve spent over a year looking for her – a year in which Kevin cannot do anything toward furthering his invention because his new partner isn’t there to okay any expenses. They need to find her and convince her to sell her share or at least allow him to make all of the decisions. He’s in for a big surprise when she turns out to be beautiful, intelligent, and disinclined to turn over any part of her inheritance to him – and that includes allowing him to solely manage the company. Uh-Oh. She definitely gives as good as she gets.
Daughter of tenant farmers, Rosamund Jameson, met the Duke of Hollinburgh only one time. He was grateful to her for nursing a friend of his and gave her a bag of coins that amounted to ten guineas. She had never seen so much money in her life and she was thrilled. She could use that money to open up the millinery shop she’d always wanted to have. The shop, located in Richmond – just outside London – has become quite successful. She will be forever grateful for that gift. So, imagine her shock when she learns that the very same duke has died and has left her an enormous amount of money as well as half interest in a company.
Poor Kevin gets off to a very bad start with Rosamund. The poor man is absolutely brilliant but socially inept. He doesn’t make small-talk, he doesn’t make polite statements – many consider him just rude. What he really is, is honest. He says what he’s thinking and it doesn’t always come out in a politically correct manner. Kevin is hyper-focused on whatever subject has him interested at the moment – and right now, that is his newest invention. He doesn’t understand why Rosamund won’t just let him run things as he likes – it is his invention. Rosamund doesn’t think Kevin knows anything about running a successful enterprise.
I really liked both Kevin and Rosamund – and I liked them together – and the lust was definitely there, but somehow, I just didn’t see how they got to the long-lasting love. Most of the on-page time was either arguing with each other or spent in bed and they’d go days without seeing each other. There just didn’t seem to be any time of working together and sharing and getting to know each other. I still enjoyed the read, I just didn’t get all of the warm-and-fuzzies for them as a couple.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.