've been reading mostly historical romances this year because after 50 years of reading mostly mysteries I was getting tired of all the bodies in my library. Well damnme, if I didn't score My One and Only Duke from NetGalley and was shocked to find it started with a soon-to-come hanging of a man in Newgate prison.
Further shocks to my poor system when I realized the man to be hanged was none other than banker extraordinaire Quinn Wentworth. I first encountered Wentworth in My Own True Duchess and fell madly in crush with him. He was a secondary character but almost took over the book.
Quinn Wentworth is the most discreet man in London, the banker with the mysterious painful past, the odd family, and evidently not much future until he is rescued from the noose and proclaimed the Duke of Walden.
How did he come to such a sorry pass? When the noose is put around his neck he is a common criminal, when the rope is cut from his neck he is a Duke. This is something Wentworth is determined to discover, especially the first part. Who wanted to ruin him and disgrace his family?
Meanwhile while in prison Quinn has acquired a few souvenirs; Jane Winston MacGowan, a pregnant widow and terribly mistreated daughter of a prison minister being the major acquisition. He marries her as a means of liberation from her father and as a way to give a future to her and the child. The new Duke also insists on exiting Newgate with a few pick pockets and whores. You can find family in the darndest places.
Speaking of family, Wentworth already has a doozy of a family waiting for him at home. His entire life has been spent protecting them. None of them are sure how to take the change in their circumstances. I'm pretty sure we will be hearing more about them in this new series-Rogues to Riches of which My One and Only Duke is a stellar start.
The new Duchess is wonderful. She is resilient, and determined to make the best of her new circumstances. This is easy for her because she finds herself falling in love with Quinn (who doesn't?).
So this is a strong love story, but it certainly isn't "hot" like most of Ms Burrowes earlier books. If this book was a menu in a Peter Chang restaurant this wouldn't even rate half a pepper.
This is a real mystery, a tightly plotted whodunnit. This sets the usual HR HEA formula totally on its head, with some terrific writing. I don’t think there is a character in My One and Only Duke who couldn’t carry their own story.
Don’t miss My One and Only Duke, it is way ahead of the pack of most HR books. Pay attention to the dedication of this book. Might explain the strengths exhibited in the writing, plotting and characters.
Thank you to Net Galley for an ARC in exchange of my fair and honest review.
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