on December 20th 2016
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THEY CALL HIM THE DUKE OF MURDER...
The gossips whisper that the new Duke of Murdoch is a brute, a murderer, and even worse—a Scot. They say he should never be trusted alone with a woman. But Megan Windham sees in Hamish something different, someone different.
No one was fiercer at war than Hamish MacHugh, though now the soldier faces a whole new battlefield: a London Season. To make his sisters happy, he'll take on any challenge—even letting their friend Miss Windham teach him to waltz. Megan isn't the least bit intimidated by his dark reputation, but Hamish senses that she's fighting battles of her own. For her, he'll become the warrior once more, and for her, he might just lose his heart.
~~Reviewed by Amy~~
Among the accolades I’ve read for Grace Burrowes’ books was the statement that her stories are “brimming with passion, romance, and wit”. Now that I’ve read my first Grace Burrowes book, I can say that’s an understatement. This first book in her new Windham Brides series isn’t just brimming, it’s overflowing. Ms. Burrowes has a real gift for building physical and emotional tension in her stories. I was pulled in from the first page by her flawless story- telling and her unforgettable characters.
Colonel Hamish MacHugh knew his way around the battlefield, but when he unexpectedly inherits the title of Duke and finds himself chaperoning his sisters, he’d “rather face Boney’s guns again than be wealthy and titled at the beginning of London season”. But Hamish loved his sisters and even though the battlefield of London season had rules he hadn’t yet grasped, he’d stumble through one blunder after another to ensure their happiness. Even learning to waltz. Especially when his waltz tutor was the lovely, red-haired, bespectacled Megan Windham.
Megan Windham should be happy. She had a handsome man from a well- regarded family pursuing her. Except she loathed him. She’d thought Sir Fletcher Pilkington was wonderful when she’d first met him. She’d even allowed him to take certain liberties with her. But he’d turned out to be avaricious and unscrupulous, using heated letters she’d written him as blackmail to coerce her into marrying him. So far she’d been able to keep him from asking her father for her hand, but as Fletcher’s need for money increased, so did his insistence that Megan set a date for their nuptials. Now Megan found herself all but engaged to Fletcher, a problem she could see no resolution for. Until she met Hamish. Megan met Hamish and befriended his sisters. She was immediately taken with Hamish. She liked his lack of decorum and his familiarity and wished all men spoke so honestly. Hamish was taken with Megan as well. She didn’t put on airs, wasn’t intimidated by him as many were, she was quiet, and absolutely lovely. Megan offers to teach Hamish to waltz, and in that moment their relationship, as well as Hamish’s relationship with her family begins to form. Having a friend was new for Hamish. After the war, he’d been plagued by the memories, suffered feelings of loss of control, loss of hope, and surges of violence. But Megan’s voice soothed him. Her nearness calmed him. Megan felt at ease with Hamish too. She admired his honest speech and that he thought in terms of logic and honor. She found herself sharing her predicament with Hamish, and like a true friend, he listened. And because he was a gentleman, he offered to champion her cause and get her letters back for her. As the two conspired to thwart Fletcher’s plans and protect Megan and her family from Fletcher’s retaliation, Hamish and Megan’s romance develops. Megan quickly fell in love with Hamish, this man who would put himself at risk for her. For Hamish, every time he looked at Megan, his heart softened, his tensions eased, his spirit was lighter, and he moved closer to the man he’d been before battle. But Fletcher was intent to get what he wanted and he’d use any means to destroy Hamish if he stood in his way.
Megan and Hamish were wonderful characters. Hamish was just perfect. Such a kind, loving, honest, witty man. I loved that, even though Megan was in trouble, she didn’t cower. She was bold and even bossy when she needed to be. And the way she gave Hamish orders made me chuckle. While Hamish and Megan’s story was fabulous, Ms. Burrowes doesn’t completely rely on the two central characters. The secondary characters added so much to the story. I will absolutely be reading the original Windham series. Megan’s cousins were charming and delightful, and Hamish’s names he had for each of them were hysterical. The witty banter and barbs between Hamish and the cousins left me with no doubt that he would fit right in with the family. I am anxious to see what’s in store for Megan and Hamish’s siblings. This family is truly a delight to read.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.