on October 26th 2015
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Justin Holleman, the Duke of Dinnisfree, is used to being wanted—in bed, for missions, and even dead. He’s protected his country more times than he can remember, gaining enemies along the way, but he failed to defend himself from the past that hardened his heart. Instead, he became an expert at shutting people out. Yet now, in order to save the king, Justin needs to let go of his old ways and let someone closer to him than ever before. He approaches the mission with his classic cold calculation, but his fiery new ally upends his ordered world and entices him at every turn. Suddenly he’s in danger of compromising his assignment and losing his heart, two things the rogue swore never to do.
Desperate to protect her parents from poverty, among other things, Miss Arabella Carthright unwittingly becomes a pawn in a dangerous political battle when she agrees to aid an enigmatic stranger. Having learned long ago to count only on herself, she’s surprised when time and again the duke actually aids her. But when his true assignment becomes clear, Arabella realizes the man she’s come to care for poses the greatest threat to those she loves.
As Justin and Arabella face their feelings and their web of deception falls away, they must decide how high a price they are willing to pay for love and loyalty.
~~Reviewed by Lisa~~
What a wonderful read; strong, deep characters, twists and turns, intrigue, kidnapping, shootings and threats all beautifully interwoven with love, second chances and rescues.
Justin, the Duke of Dinnisfree has turned off his emotions and refuses to engage in society unless it is in the service of the king. A King he is finding it harder and harder to like, let alone respect. He has had no role models in his life for love and compassion, but is always rescuing and providing for those that are abused and taken advantage of. He is not one to suffer fools lightly.
Arabella Carthright is a seamstress trying desperately to provide for herself and her parents, yet they are flirting with destitution and lead her to believe she is out of options. She has come to know she can only depend on herself, others find ways to disappoint and/or fail her. She is strong and smart and finds it difficult to trust anyone. Like Justin she has a nurturing side that wants and needs to take care of and even fix others in need.
Unwittingly Arabella is drawn into intrigue involving the king and queen, their possible divorce and potential scandal Prinny always seems to find. As Arabella is manipulated she meets Justin expecting one thing and finding protection unlike what she had planned. While Justine tries to protect Arabella his instincts say she is innocent, but his spy side is screaming CAUTION! They are a very good team, they just have to get out of their own way and embrace trust.
In THE DANGEROUS DUKE OF DINNISFREE, Ms. Johnstone has created characters that I instantly identified with and wanting them to succeed. The pace of the conversations and the back story kept me turning pages and I was sad to see the story end. Her villains were intricate and well thought out leaving a sour taste after each encounter and cheering when they get their comeuppance. The secondary characters brought humor and lightness to Justin’s character that was refreshing and left you knowing that he DID have people that cared in his life, he just needed to accept that level of interaction. The twists and turns Ms Johnstone wove into Justin and Arabella’s HEA brought surprises and aha moments to the story. This is book 5 in the Whisper of Scandal series, but can be read alone, however, you will find yourself wanting to go back and catch up with the scandals.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.