Published by Loveswept on November 10, 2015
Genres: Adult, Historical, Regency Romance, Romance
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Perfect for fans of Mary Balogh and Eloisa James, Sharon Cullen’s seductive new historical romance ignites as a shy country girl and a hotheaded duke surrender to dangerous temptations.
Lady Sara Emerson was jolted out of her dull provincial life by her cousin’s murder. Now that the killer seems to be targeting her, Sara seeks help from the man who was once her cousin’s fiancé, Gabriel Ferguson, Duke of Rossmoyne. With his towering frame and fiery personality, Ross cuts an intimidating figure. Living under his protection, however, has its own hazards—like the sudden urge Sara feels to take their relationship in new, exquisitely inappropriate directions.
Dazzled by the social graces of his betrothed, Ross never noticed her shy, blushing cousin. Looking at Sara now, though, he’s drawn to her lovely eyes and calm disposition. Funny how a year away from the hustle and bustle of the ton changes a man. But Ross has no intention of allowing a woman to interfere with his plan to return overseas. He will simply capture the murderer and set sail once again. The problem is, with her beguiling lips and heavenly touch, Sara makes him never want to leave home—or his bed—again.
The Reluctant Duchess is a bit different than most of the Regency Romances I have read. It centers around a murder mystery, rather than the ton and who the most eligible bachelor is. Sara is our spunky, yet reserved heroine, who is being sent anonymous and threatening letters regarding her cousin Meredith’s murder. She doesn’t know what to do, so she goes to her cousin’s ex-fiancee, the Duke of Rossmoyne for help. Ross has just returned from India, and wants nothing to do with Sara, though he does want to know who’s sending the letters. He begrudgingly agrees to help, though he does not know what he’s getting himself into where Sara is concerned. He believes her to be meek, a mere shadow next to the brilliance of her now dead cousin. He’s very wrong.
This was another really sweet romance; the murder mystery aspect wasn’t terribly mysterious. I knew who had done the terrible deed about halfway through, but that didn’t necessarily make the book any less enjoyable. The real reason to read this book is for Ross and Sara’s romance. Before Ross went to India, he was what the ton might have considered a rake, not suitable for a sweet, quiet thing like Sara. The ton has misjudged them both however, as Ross’ time in India has made him far more responsible and noble, and Sara is actually extremely intelligent and headstrong, but is merely quiet in social situations. As they get to know one another through investigating Meredith, Ross believes he has finally found the woman to be his duchess, as reluctant as she may be.
See what I did there?
This is a solid Regency Romance read for fans of the genre.
Content: Graphic Sex, a little violence. Recommended for 18+.