on April 2, 2019
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
An enchanting Regency romance with a fairy-tale twist from an always witty and delightful New York Times bestselling author who Tessa Dare calls "a romance treasure."
Duncan Wentworth tried his hand at rescuing a damsel in distress once long ago, and he's vowed he'll never make that mistake again. Nonetheless, when he comes across Matilda Wakefield in the poacher-infested and far-from-enchanted woods of his estate, decency compels him to offer aid to a lady fallen on hard times. Matilda is whip-smart, she can read Duncan's horrible penmanship, and when she wears his reading glasses, all Duncan can think about is naughty Latin poetry.
Matilda cannot entrust her secrets to Duncan without embroiling him in the problems that sent her fleeing from London, but neither can she ignore a man who's honorable, a brilliant chess player, and maddeningly kissable. She needs to stay one step ahead of the enemies pursuing her, though she longs to fall into Duncan's arms. Duncan swears he has traded in his shining armor for a country gentleman's muddy boots, but to win the fair maid, he'll have to ride into battle one more time.
~~Reviewed by Amy~~
My favorite genre is historical romance. I adore all the historical details, courtship rules, and social mores. But sometimes I want more than just the love and romance that takes place in a London ballroom. I need a little adventure and suspense. Characters out of their element facing more jeopardy than just societal consequences. It enhances the relationship as they learn to trust each other and work against obstacles. In Grace Burrowes’ second book of her Rogues to Riches story, danger and passion intersect, and for Duncan and Matilda, there’s nothing like the threat of losing someone to make you realize how much you love and need them.
Matilda Wakefield, Dowager Duchess of Bosendorf, had played many roles in her life. Chess playing daughter of art dealer Thomas Wakefield and widow of an eccentric nobleman. Now she was in a role totally foreign to her, a woman on the run. Evidently, her father dealt in more than art and now Matilda had been inadvertently embroiled in his schemes. Matilda found herself on the run to protect her father and being pursued by the man purporting to be her betrothed. Brightwell, a ducal holding where Matilda had formed some of her best memories, was deserted now, the duke long gone. It seemed the perfect place to run to until she could flee England altogether. But when she runs right into Duncan Wentworth’s arms, she finds escape is the last thing she wants to do.
As cousin to Quinn Wentworth, Duke of Walden, Duncan was sent to Brightwell to fix what became a shambles of an estate years ago. The lot of factors and stewards Quinn had inherited from the previous duke were driving the estate deeply into debt. While he missed his travels, which always put distance between him and his past, he didn’t mind being isolated at the crumbling estate with minimal staff. He thrived in solitude. Quinn gave him a year to set the estate to rights. Duncan planned on biding his time and then continue his travels. But he didn’t plan on Matilda Wakefield. And he didn’t plan on falling in love.
It was obvious to Duncan from the start that Matilda was afraid. Either she was the victim of wrong doing or was witness to it. Despite the fact that she was on her own and living on scraps, he could tell by the way she carried herself she was a woman of privilege. Decency compelled him to offer aid. So Duncan found himself hiring Matilda to work as his literary assistant and transcribe his travel journals. As the days passed, a relationship formed. Not only did Matilda help in settling the house to rights but she excelled in turning his cramped scribblings into legible coherent prose. She was also a worthy and enjoyable chess opponent. Duncan liked Matilda’s calmness and lack of airs. It had been a long time since he’d noticed a woman, and he definitely noticed Matilda. He wanted her to stay. For her sake and for his. Matilda had noticed Duncan too. He was a gentleman. A good man. He was adept at catching her in her lies yet she trusted him. Daily she resolved to leave but each night she put off her departure. Brightwell offered shelter, food, and warmth, but Duncan Wentworth was the most tempting reason to stay. But no matter the feelings she was having for him, she couldn’t involve him in her troubles or he could be implicated. Guilty by association. Just as in chess, the queen must protect her king.
Like the first book in this series, When A Duchess Says I Do is a story with wit, romance, and endearing characters. Readers will fall in love with the Wentworth family, and Matilda makes the perfect addition. Both Duncan and Matilda were such tender-hearted, loyal people. They deserved each other. Someone who would put the other first in their life. Matilda risked her very life to protect a father who didn’t deserve her loyalty. She was even willing to give up her own happiness to protect Duncan. Duncan had lost much in his life. Grief and disappointment in those he’d trusted still haunted him. He kept a friendly distance from people but had great affection and loyalty to his family. Duncan had taught Quinn to read and devoted years to Stephen. He’d been both friend and teacher to Stephen saving him from slipping further into the melancholy that plagued him. His devotion to Matilda and keeping her safe was foremost in his mind. I loved watching their relationship develop. The slow revelation of past events and suspense and mystery surrounding Matilda’s suitor and her father only added to the excitement of the story. I adore this unconventional, quirky Wentworth family and look forward to seeing what’s in store for them next.