The Heiress Bride by Madeline Hunter

The Heiress Bride (A Duke's Heiress, #3)My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Barbara’s rating: 3.3 of 5 Stars
Series: A Duke’s Heiress #3
Publication Date: 5/23/23
Period: Regency
Number of Pages: 320

This is the third, and I believe final, book in the series. We find the third and final heiress as well as identify and punish the villain(s) who has plagued the dukedom by murdering the previous duke and making several attempts on the life of the current duke. So, most of the mysteries are cleared up – and those that aren’t – well, I had to wonder why they were ever in there in the first place. I have read all of the books in the series and my actual ratings have moved down with each book. I rated the first book as a solid 4 – the second book as a 3.5 – and now this one with a 3.3 – so maybe it is good that the series is finished.

I have loved Nicholas Radnor, the new Duke of Hollinburg since the first book. He is handsome, charming, and honorable. He was unprepared to be the duke, but has stepped into the role as best he can and is making strides to become the duke he has never trained to be. His uncle, the previous duke, left the dukedom in a mess by bequeathing most of his personal fortune to three heiresses he didn’t even really know. So, of course, without any funds, the dukedom flounders and Nicholas would be required to find a loveless marriage with an heiress to keep it afloat. While Nicholas isn’t happy about the state of affairs, he has more or less accepted it and is settling into being the best duke he can be. He’s hoping the third and final heiress won’t be found because not having to give out that portion of the inheritance will at least give him a little breathing room to get the dukedom on an even financial footing before he has to make decisions about what to do long-term.

Iris Barrington has absolutely no clue she is an heiress when she knocks on the door of the Duke of Hollinburgh. She’s only there to try to find the truth about a long-ago wrong that was done to her grandfather – and to set it right and rehabilitate her grandfather’s name. She is totally shocked to learn of her potential inheritance! Still, her goal is to right a wrong, the inheritance is just the icing on the cake.

I just didn’t love Iris and I didn’t really feel the chemistry between her and Nicholas. For me, the book got off to a slow start, and spent a lot of time in libraries and talking about the book trade, etc. I know that time was supposed to show them growing closer to each other, but for me, it just dragged along.

Aside from the overarching mystery that has run through all of the books, this one had a couple of additional mysteries pertinent to Iris and Nicholas. The first one is the mystery of why and how Iris’s grandfather was wronged. That was basically solved and the beginnings of a solution were set in motion. The second mystery had to do with some factories Nicholas had inherited. We got a quasi-answer, but no real final solutions, so I had to wonder why we would include them in the story at all. All of that page time could have been devoted to more character-building and interactions between Iris and Nicholas.

I believe the best scene in the book was when the three heiresses, who had become fast friends, decided to have an adventure and went to a women’s entertainment venue. It wasn’t exactly a brothel for ladies because it did have other entertainments there – but it was close enough to one. They were listening to bawdy songs and dance routines, etc.

For me, this was a bit disappointing as the wrap-up for a series and it was in desperate need of an epilogue to show how their futures evolved. I mean, we didn’t even get a wedding in this book!

I am glad to have read the book as it completes the series, but I wouldn’t read it a second time, nor would I purchase it for a friend. For me, it just wasn’t the book Nicholas deserved and I was disappointed. Should you choose to read it, I hope you will love it.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

Posted by

Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s