Review – When a Duchess Says I Do by Grace Burrowes

About the Book:

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.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                                                    When a Duchess Says I Do (Rogues to Riches Book 2)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

A widowed duchess should not be homeless, starving, and freezing, but that’s exactly what Matilda has chosen to do.  When Matilda found some incriminating documents that are possibly treasonous in her father’s possession, she panicked and ran, taking the documents and destroying them.  She was observed by her ambitious and lukewarm fiancé, Colonel Lord Atticus Parker, who would undoubtedly use this information to his advantage to further his own personal and professional agenda.  Matilda stealthily makes her way to Brightwell Estate, a place that holds fond memories for her from her younger days when the previous owner was still alive and she was often a guest.

Duncan Wentworth is a former curate who became disillusioned and left the church.  He’s spent the last decade traveling and tutoring his younger cousin, Stephen.  When Stephen’s older brother, Quinn, unexpectedly inherited a duchy, he “assigned” Duncan the responsibility of turning the Brightwell Estate profitable within a year.  Quinn’s intentions were honorable, as he hoped to provide a genuine home for his solitary and wandering cousin.  Duncan has an unexpected encounter with Matilda on his property, which leads to his offering her the job of organizing his notes from all his travels.  In truth, he wants to offer her shelter and a place to regroup, as he clearly sees that she’s in dire straits.

I love Duncan, who is truly a sensitive soul, and had a genuine calling for the church.  The behavior he observed by supposed men of God, and his powerlessness to correct those situations caused him to turn to teaching as a vocation.  He has a soft spot for people and creatures who seem to be in hopeless circumstances, and he can tell that Matilda is fleeing something big.  While Matilda doesn’t plan to stay at Brightwell very long, she becomes entranced by Duncan’s travel journals, and then by the man, himself.  As for Duncan, he finds that he’s feeling desire for the first time in a long time, as well as being attracted to Matilda’s intelligence and honesty.

Duncan and Matilda become very close in a very short time.  Duncan soon realizes that he wants to genuinely court Matilda, and make her his wife.  While Matilda would like nothing more than finally having a true home with a man she loves, she knows that she’ll soon be leaving.  After all, she may now be considered part of the treasonous plot, which would mean a death sentence.  She has no desire to embroil Duncan in that situation.  When her power hungry fiancé tracks her down, insisting on an immediate marriage in exchange for his not revealing what he’s seen, Matilda agrees, wanting only to protect both Duncan and her father.  But Duncan has finally found true love, and he’s not about to let it slip away because of the actions of a deceptive bully.

I’m a big fan of Grace Burrowes’s writing, and one of the reasons is that I always feel that I get to know the characters really well.  Duncan didn’t become cynical, as he easily could have, but in his quiet way became a champion and a genuine hero.  He had some heartbreak and pain in his past, but still became a man of dignity, honor, and compassion.  Matilda also didn’t have a particularly happy past, with a lukewarm convenient marriage, a fiancé who only wanted to use her, and a father who showed how little he valued her.  Yet, she exhibited a strength of character and protectiveness that revealed a person worth admiring.

WHEN A DUCHESS SAYS I DO has plenty of warmth, romance, and wonderful family interaction, as well as the mystery regarding the treasonous activity.  I greatly enjoyed the read, and highly recommend it to those who enjoy a character driven romance with a hero and heroine to fall in love with, and a most satisfying resolution.    ~Rose

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