I was given an ARC of this book by the publishers to provide an honest review.
While I might admit I wasn't so enthusiastic to review a debut novel that too historical romance, I can safely say that it was one of the best decisions I made!
You know that feeling when you read a first book of a brand new series and can't freaking wait for the other books? I had the same feeling when I read My Brown-Eyed Earl. So, I was soo happy that I got an ARC for this book! And I didn't have to wait till April to find out Beth's story.
Now, lets look at
Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, is known throughout the ton for three things: the burn scars on his neck, his ornery disposition, and the trail of broken hearts behind him. None of which would concern Miss Elizabeth Lacey in the least—if she weren’t living under his roof. As his grandmother’s companion, Beth is all too concerned with the moody and compelling duke. Incensed by his plans to banish the sweet dowager duchess to the country, Beth refuses to do his bidding. If Alex wants her help, he’s going to have to take her dare…and grant her three wishes.
Alex adores his grandmother, which is precisely why she must leave. A string of unfortunate incidents has him worried for the safety of everyone around him—including the dowager’s loyal and lovely companion, Beth. But the notorious wallflower isn’t as meek as she appears, and as their battle of wills heats up, so does Alex’s desire. He’s dangerously close to falling in love with her…and revealing secrets he’d rather keep hidden. How can he convince her that his darkest days are behind him—and that, for the first time in forever, his heart is true?
I usually make a habit of not reading the blurb whenever I get an ARC. It just feels nice to plunge into the book without knowing any spoilers. So I did the same here and I was actually glad when I read the blurb later because it had a lot of pointers into the story.
Now lets see
Alexander Savage, Duke of Blackshire is a man with a scarred history, quite literally. He survived a childhood accident only to be left as an orphan. If not for his grandmother he would have been left all alone. Alex is in a precarious position right now. Someone is trying to harm him and his sole focus is to remove his grandmother away from the line of fire. Everything would have worked out fine if not for his grandmother's delectable companion.
Elizabeth Lacey is out of a job. After her sister marries an Earl and all their financial problems are solved Beth longs to be needed and in control. Caring for an elderly dowager duchess fills her time and her need to be needed perfectly. Now the Duke has returned and he wants to cast his grandmother away to a country home. She is not the one to stand aside and let the Duke pack away his doting grandmother. So, she stands up to him.
What follows is a tug of war between the two which turns into a very dangerous game with their growing passion.
What I liked:
- Alex. He reminded so much of someone I know. His love for his grandmother is unbound yet he is actually shy in revealing it. He likes to carry any burden alone without nary a complaint and without sharing it too. That alone shows his strength and depth of his love
- The Plot. I am actually surprised that, with the number of historical romances I've read this was the first time I ever saw this plot line. Kudos to the writer for the innovation!
- The flow of the story. I might have had a couple of complaints with the book, but never that it was boring. It's pace was not fast, not slow. It was perfect to hold the reader's attention and leave them guessing.
What I could have liked better:
- Beth. It's easy for me to judge her because I've never been in her position. Yet, I felt i could have liked Beth better if she wasn't so stubborn and suspicious. She automatically assumed the worst in Alex all the times no matter how many times he proved himself. Other than that she was level-headed and charming too.
- The Ending. The clues and the mystery until the finale scene was in sync. But I never expected who the 'bad guy' was and honestly he wasn't even in the picture until that very scene. So I felt it was a bit preposterous.
Charming, hot and a mysterious book that keeps us guessing until the end.
I give this book : 4 Stars!