Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Duke Dynasty, #4
Release Date: May 25, 2021
This series started when after the deaths of 3 husbands and her brother-in-law, the Duchess of Armitage’s children begin to wonder if foul play was involved and set out to discover the truth. After a lot of frustration and dead ends, the siblings have narrowed their suspects down to three ladies that were present at the time of the deaths of the duchess’s first two husbands. One of the ladies is the Duke of Greycourt’s aunt, but with his wife entering confinement with their first child, Grey tasks his half-brother Sheridan Wolfe, the Duke of Armitage with interviewing his aunt, Lady Eustance. With no real reason to call on her, Sheridan forms a plan to pretend to woo her daughter, Vanessa Pryde. An idea that takes wings when Vanessa agrees to play along if Sheridan will help her make the playwright, Konrad Juncker jealous enough to offer for her.
Vanessa has no interest in Mr. Juncker, Sheridan has always been the man she wanted, but he has never paid any interest in her at all and has made it clear that he is not looking to marry any time soon. She is hopeful that if he spends time with her, she can change his mind. But what she doesn’t know is that Sheridan’s heart was broken years ago and he refuses to risk it again – no matter how much Vanessa tempts him. But when they are caught in a passionate embrace, the only way to protect Vanessa is to marry her. Sheridan rationalizes his eagerness by thinking that he is keeping her out of the clutches of the rakish Mr. Juncker, that her dowry will help shore up his failing estate and he will have credible access to her mother for questioning – that is his story and he is sticking to it!
After they marry, Vanessa learns the real reason he started wooing her and is hurt, but she wants to clear her mother’s name and offers to help. But Sheridan was not the only one with secrets and these two will have to come clean and open their hearts to get their HEA, assuming that the killer doesn’t strike again before they get the chance!
This was a good book, well-written and nicely paced with wonderful characters and the conclusion to a series-long, well-thought-out, and perfectly executed murder mystery. The book is full of secrets, steamyish love scenes, great characters, cameos from previous heroes/heroines, a hero with a broken heart, a heroine who knows what she wants, and a nail-biter ending as well as a very sweet and satisfying epilogue. I enjoyed this book and am happy to recommend it. This is the fourth book in the series and while it could be read as a standalone, I would strongly recommend reading the series in order for the best reader experience.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. *