Review – Regarding the Duke by Grace Callaway

About the Book:

She married him for love. He married her for money. Can a marriage that started with lies turn into a ravishing love story for all time?

For the eight years of their marriage, sweet, innocent Gabriella Garrity has adored her powerful and darkly handsome husband Adam, whose moneylending empire has earned him the moniker of Duke of the City. Her domestic bliss is shattered when Adam suffers a traumatic accident. Although his life is saved, he loses his memory. Gabby dedicates herself to nursing him back to health…until devastating revelations destroy her illusions about their marriage.

From the moment he met lovely redheaded Gabriella, Adam knew that she would make him the perfect wife. Guileless, biddable, and sweetly unaware of her own charms, she also holds the key to his secret plot for vengeance. A self-made man who rose from the darkest streets of London, he values control above all and will stop at nothing to gain his justice—until an accident robs him of his memory. As he fights to remember his past, he comes to a stunning realization: whoever he is, he is passionately in love with his own wife.

One by one, dark secrets emerge from Adam’s past as well as Gabby’s. The lovers struggle to steer a relationship gone off course…only to discover steamy marital adventures they never expected to find. All the while, a deadly villain lies in wait. Will husband and wife find the courage to trust one another and their love—before time runs out?

Find out in this scorching, long-awaited love story featuring anti-hero Adam Garrity and his beloved Gabby!

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                                    Regarding the Duke (Game of Dukes Book 3)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Adam Garrity has built a moneylending empire, and is known as “Duke of the City.”  His rise to the top wasn’t easy, and was filled with pain and heartbreak along the way.  Adam feels that in order to finally have peace, he needs to revenge himself on those who grievously wronged him as a child.  As he spins his web to capture Anthony De Villier, he cultivates a business relationship with his enemy’s banker.  That banker has a daughter, who fulfills Adam’s requirements for a wife, and that connection will only put Adam in a strategically better position to bring down De Villier.

Gabriella “Gabby” Billings is not a social success.  She gets flustered, talks too much, and wears clothes that are most unflattering to her curvaceous figure.  She’s aware that she’s often laughed at, and is seemingly unaware of her genuine beauty, her kindness, and her generous heart.  When she’s approached by Adam, an excessively handsome and charming man, she can’t imagine he has any true interest in her.  She lets him know that her father’s wealth is tied up in a trust, but Adam doesn’t seem to care about her money.  Soon enough, he proposes, making it clear that he will respect her, care for her, and be faithful to her, but he will never love her.  Gabby accepts Adam’s proposal, though she lets him know that she is likely to fall in love with him.  He’s happy to accept her love as long as she abides by the guidelines he’s set.

Adam and Gabby marry, and for eight years, they live a life according to Adam’s schedule.  They have pleasant intimate relations once a week at the appointed time, he designates one evening to spend with their two children, and Gabby takes care of the home while Adam continues to run his empire.  Adam’s plot to ruin De Villier is progressing according to plan.  Adam has his heir, a lovely and biddable wife he’s fond of, and he feels that all is perfect in his world.  Until it isn’t…

When Adam takes part in a dangerous confrontation, he’s wounded, and the injury to his head causes him to wake not knowing who he is.  He’s taken home, where Gabby cares for him non-stop.  Adam doesn’t remember her, their children, or anything about his business.  However, he does find her excessively attractive, and he can’t wait until he’s well enough to resume marital activities.

This Adam does not remember all the baggage of his past, so his priorities are getting to know his wife and children, then picking up his career.  Gabby almost immediately fell in love with Adam after their marriage, and if she had to deal with the sadness of not being loved in return, she endured it for the benefits of having his fondness and his children.  She realized that Adam was rigid in his schedules, but being an innocent, she didn’t have anything to compare how lackluster their intimate relations were.  New Adam has no such inhibitions, and proceeds to explore passion to the fullest, much to the delight of Gabby.

Not only are Adam and Gabby becoming more physically entwined, but they talk more openly.  Adam is amazed to find he was the rigid, controlled man that Gabby describes.  He’s certainly not controlled now, as he even takes an interest in helping Gabby select clothes that flatter her, while building up her confidence.  Gabby’s love, her passion, and her caring nature touch Adam’s heart, and he finds himself falling in love.  It looks like their marriage may turn out to be better than either of them could have hoped for.

Their paradise abruptly ends when Adam regains his memory, and realizes that his enemy is on to his plan.  Gabby finds out and believes that Adam married her solely to use her connection to her father.  Her pain causes her to confront Adam, and they have a truly awful confrontation, saying cruel and unforgivable things that they didn’t really mean, but that drive them apart, possibly forever.

Despite Adam’s misguided notions, I truly loved him.  The betrayals he suffered broke my heart, and it was only his determination not to be hurt again that made him turn into the bland husband he was.  Even so, he treated Gabby with respect, honor, and affection.  He thought his toned down passion was the proper way to treat a lady, and he repressed his more sensual self and remained faithful, as he promised.  I loved to see Gabby blossom under “new” Adam’s guidance.  It was beautiful to see her gain self confidence and become stronger and passionate.

REGARDING THE DUKE is one super steamy adventure!  It was written in a unique way, by starting after the couple had been married eight years, then supplying the snippets of their past to show how they got to the present.  Adam and Gabby are totally sympathetic characters who are perfect for each other, despite their different backgrounds.  I love the tropes of amnesia and convenient marriage, and both are done extremely well here.  REGARDING THE DUKE is one of those books I didn’t want to put down, and read it all in one day.  Though it’s Book 3 of the GAME OF DUKES series, it reads perfectly well as a standalone, and will satisfy those who enjoy a captivating and emotional story with plenty of heat.    ~Rose



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