Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new historical romance from bestselling author Marie Force. DUCHESS BY DECEPTION is so different from the other books I’ve read from this author, including FATAL THREAT and CAN’T BUY ME LOVE.
About the book:
In New York Times bestselling author Marie Force’s dazzling historical romance debut, the clock is ticking for a wealthy Duke who must marry by his thirtieth birthday—or lose his title…
Derek Eagan, the dashing Duke of Westwood, is well aware of his looming deadline. But weary of tiresome debutantes, he seeks a respite at his country home in Essex—and encounters a man digging on his property. Except he’s not a man. He’s a very lovely woman. Who suddenly faints at his feet.
Catherine McCabe’s disdain for the aristocracy has already led her to flee an arranged marriage with a boorish Viscount. The last thing she wants is to be waylaid in a Duke’s home. Yet, she is compelled to stay by the handsome, thoughtful man who introduces himself as the Duke’s estate manager.
Derek realizes two things immediately: he is captivated by her delicate beauty, and to figure out what she was up to, Catherine must not know he is the Duke. But as they fall passionately in love, Derek’s lie spins out of control. Will their bond survive his deception, not to mention the scorned Viscount’s pursuit? Most important, can Catherine fall in love all over again—this time with the Duke?
This historical romance is set in Essex, England at the turn of the 20th century–so, around the time of electricity, the birth of the automobile, the beginnings of modern flight-machines and new-fangled indoor plumbing.
Derek Eagan, the Duke of Westwood, is less than a fortnight from his thirtieth birthday, and must marry or risk losing his estate to his greedy uncle. The details of his entailment require a marriage before his birthday, but Derek refuses to marry a simpering debutante and flees the ballroom scenes for his country estate. Upon his arrival, he encounters a person digging on his property. Derek mistakes the intruder for a man, but is surprised to find she’s a very ill woman. He brings her to his home, but pretends to be his estate manager–on account of the beautiful young Catherine being very much opposed to the aristocracy.
Catherine is a learned woman, recently made a “Lady” due to her father inheriting an earldom. Before that, Catherine had taught reading and writing to the local village children, and rode horses for sport. As a Lady, she’s too old to vie for a husband in the ballrooms of London, but her father has suddenly betrothed her to a vile viscount, one who isn’t above taking what he wants without waiting for a marriage license. Catherine, fearing the dreaded marriage ran off in the night and began the search for a key to untold treasure buried by her own grandmother ages ago. Derek is intrigued by the story of the riches left on his estate–he’s long known about the safebox this key would open–but he’s enraged about the viscount’s advances, and only wants to keep the lovely Catherine safe. It’s in this vein that he helps her escape to Gretna Green for an elopement–only, he hasn’t quite told Catherine that he’s the duke. And, well, the whole get married before the birthday thing probably isn’t going to go over well, either….once Catharine finds out.
This was a fast-paced romance with Catherine and Derek falling quickly for one another. Catherine isn’t amused when she learns her husband’s true identity–or his requirements for the inheritance. They have some serious problems, as a matter of fact, but some of this is smoothed over by Derek’s immense ardor for Catherine, who he considers a love match. He’s lucky that Catherine’s sister is a fan of his–she goes a long way to smoothing things over. I liked how spirited Catherine is, and how she stood up for herself in ways that didn’t feel artificial. Derek wounded her emotionally, and she doesn’t let it go until she’s sure he’s truly sorry. Plus, He makes it right in many awesome ways. There’s a lot of sexytimes–for Catherine and her younger sister, because we have a little story-within-a-story happening. That was yummy fun, especially as Derek and his cousin are well-skilled at the art of lovemaking. These two sisters get so much more than they bargained for, but mostly they find lovers and friends who they happily marry.
This is a standalone romance, but I can see that there will be another book coming–likely featuring a couple of wealthy bachelors that were good friends of Derek. I’d gladly read more!
About the Author:
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception.
All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction.
Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.
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