Review – Enter the Duke by Grace Callaway

About the Book:

He has a secret. Hers is bigger. (Hint: it involves a baby…)

One wicked night of passion results in life-altering consequences for Maggie Goode. Years later, she’s a respectable widow, yet her troubles are far from over. With debts looming, she must salvage her fossil shop to support herself and her beloved daughter. Fate leads her to a man who can save her business…but he’s also the biggest mistake from her past.

Once a carefree rake, Rhys Cavendish, the Duke of Ranelagh and Somerville (“Ransom”) is now fleeing from moneylenders and the necessity of marrying for convenience. His sole hope for redemption: the inheritance his uncle left him in the form of a treasure map. When he goes to hire an expedition specialist, he comes face to face with a woman he’s never forgotten…and a daughter he never knew he had.

Dangerous secrets smolder between Maggie and Rhys, but neither can resist a scorching reunion. Personal demons and hidden enemies rise to threaten their passionate romance. Will they defy all odds to find the ultimate treasure: a love for all time?

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                                                     Enter the Duke (Game of Dukes Book 2)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Maggie Goode is working as a barmaid, and fending off yet another unwanted advance from a customer, when she is rescued by a handsome and aristocratic young man.  Though she is innocent and has never been tempted before, she’s no match for the seductive wiles of her rescuer, known to her as Rhys Cavendish.  After a passionate night together, Rhys goes on his way, leaving Maggie, who will soon discover she is pregnant.  Luckily, Maggie is offered a platonic marriage by Paul Foley, who is happy to raise the child as his own.  For nine years, Maggie helps Paul with his business, fossil hunting, until he passes away.  As she struggles to keep the business afloat after his death, Maggie is shocked to see Rhys return to town, seeking her help in a treasure hunt.

Rhys is actually the Duke of Ranelagh and Somerville, aka “Ransom.”  His father’s death left him an inheritance riddled with debt, and his own efforts only added to the deficit.  He’s now on the run from moneylenders, who will take their pound of flesh from Rhys if they can’t get their money.  An unexpected inheritance from Rhys’s uncle offers a fortune that can save his life and inheritance, but he has to go on a treasure hunt to find it.  Rhys knows that he needs help, and Mrs. Foley is the person recommended to him.  Imagine his surprise to find that Mrs. Foley is the lovely Maggie, the woman he spent an unforgettable night with all those years ago.

Maggie’s immediate thought is that Rhys can’t find out that he has a child, and intends to send him on his way.  When Rhys finally persuades her by offering payment large enough to save her business, Maggie capitulates.  Rhys also hopes to rekindle their passionate affair for the duration of their time together, while Maggie is just as determined to never repeat her mistake, and to continue to live a chaste and respectable life.

I really love Maggie, who was strong enough to pick herself up and move forward from her disastrous mistake at the young age of eighteen.  She worked hard to make a good life with her husband and daughter, and never looked back.  She came from a family dubbed as “The No-Goodes,” because of their wild and woolly ways and tried hard to break the mold.  Her big heart often caused her to help her no-account relations when she could ill afford to do so.

Rhys suffered at the hands of his father, and was often bullied and mocked for his mixed heritage.  He has misplaced feelings of guilt, which have caused him to build walls around himself.  He refuses to care or to love, while outwardly being charming and seductive.  His selfish younger self lived a rakish lifestyle full of gambling, drinking, and womanizing.

The explosive chemistry between Rhys and Maggie is just as potent today as it ever was, and Rhys’s skills once again bring Maggie under his spell.  This time, though, Maggie is determined that there will be no consequences, and she will not hope for anything more than a brief affair.  As they search for the treasure, and share their bodies with each other, they become closer every day.  Soon, they share their pasts, their fears, and their hopes.  Just as Rhys begins to envision a future with Maggie, the treasure hunt appears to come to a dead end, and he may be forced to take a step that will separate them forever.

Maggie and Rhys both show a lot of growth over the course of the story.  They are both somewhat outcasts who help each other in a big way.  I think that Rhys changed into a strong and honorable man with Maggie’s help and understanding.  This couple truly has an off the charts sexual compatibility, and when love entered the picture, it just deepened their connection, and made me believe that they would be happy together for life.  ENTER THE DUKE is chock full of excitement, romance, explicit sex, a treasure hunt, danger, a secret child, and ferrets!  I greatly enjoyed the ride, and look forward to the next book in the Game of Dukes series.    ~Rose

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