Tuesday, 8 February 2011
#84 (#20) - The Duke ~ Gaelen Foley
This is actually the first book in the Knight Family Series, and focuses on Robert, Duke of Hawkescliffe.
He's a positive paragon of virtue, everything that a Duke should be, but in love with the wife of somebody else he is drawn into to uncover the truth by her widower, the Earl of Coldfell.
Robert it seems will go to any lengths to get to the truth, even if it means involving himself in scandal and taking a beautiful young courtesan under his protection ........ even more shockingly, under his very roof.
After the wicked nephew of the Earl of Coldfell utterly ruined her life, the young Bell Hamilton was left with the shameful and distasteful choice of becoming a courtesan to attempt to save her Father from the Fleet and gain her own independence.
Robert offers her a short-term contract to live at his home and help him uncover the truth with no sex involved, only the impression of it to others. He also makes it abundantly clear that he despises women who whore themselves - she will never have a Carte Blanche from him.
To lure Dolph out the pair have to face the fury of the unforgiving ton, and also fight an ever growing attraction.
At the close of the contract they go some way to finding out the truth, but by that time Robert and Bel are in love. She agrees to carry on as his mistress, but is heart broken some time later to find out that to secure his line and advance his political career he is becoming engaged to the deaf daughter of the Earl of Coldfell.
The only principle Bel has been able to maintain all along is the fact that she would only ever accept the protection of an unmarried man ..... so what does she do? How does Robert react?..............well, sorry to say you will have to read it to find out, but I am fairly certain you will enjoy this lovely tale.
A 3.5 **** Star read, the only reason it isn't higher is that I fell Ms Foley could have written slightly more of a roller-coaster ending ......it could have been enhanced by a few breath stopping/will he...won't he moments.
I've also just finished the Lady of Desire, which is the story of the only sister in the Knight Family, Jacinda.