Date published: August 28, 2012
Reviewed by Lynne
Obtained via publisher.
Tessa Neville, having been hurt and deceived as a young girl by the man she loved, was quick to turn the tables, jilting the loser at the altar and moving on with her life. Upsetting her family in the process, she is sent to stay with an understanding aunt. In the meantime, Tessa, in order to avoid judgmental society, returns home later under the guise of being a widow, which no one questions. Since her aunt backs her story, there is no contestation.
Tessa, highly intelligent, with a head for figures, is a great asset for her brother, Viscount Marchmont, who values her opinion before making any business decisions. While considering a canal investment, he sends Tessa to investigate the matter more thoroughly. While doing so, it is then she encounters the handsome rake, Charles de Lacey - Lord Gresham - who is destined to become a duke, if he can discover the truth of his father’s past before a blackmailer reaps further havoc in his life.
Tart-tongued and beautiful, Tessa intrigues Charles as no other female ever has. Yet he suspects she may be an enemy in league with the blackmailer who has it in for him. As he tricks her into sharing her true intentions, it is then he realizes how his own heart has played him into falling for the lovely widow. A woman who tempts him beyond measure, yet who may just be the salvation he is looking for.
THE WAY TO A DUKE’S HEART by Caroline Linden is the third book in THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DUKE trilogy. I have not read the first two in this series, but I absolutely loved this book. It has everything a person would want from a historical romance: romance, mystery, intrigue, a strong alpha male, and a strong heroine. It is a book I intend to read again, that is how much I enjoyed it. It is very well written, unique in its story line/plotting, and fairly fast paced, which kept me turning pages. Later, when all the looses ends were tied up, I felt what one would normally feel when a good book has to end. I didn’t want it to. THE WAY TO A DUKE’S HEART, for me, is one of those books.
I loved that our heroine, Tessa, is strong, very intelligent, and beautiful. Just the sort of woman to stand up to Lord Gresham. He, in turn, is all one would want in a hero. Exceptionally handsome, charming, and a bad boy, to boot.
The fact that Tessa is a bit unsure of herself at times, when around Charlie, our hero, endears her more to the reader, I think. She does not come across as prideful. She is just a strong, logical woman who has a clear head for reality. From the start, she is aware, because of her lowly station, that there is no place for her in a duke’s future.
Mrs. Bates, a minor character, was a great little lady in the mix of things. Used as a springboard to Charlie getting Tessa to introduce him to the supposed blackmailer, Bates is the perfect character to make it happen. Although she is overwhelmed by the attention Charlie affords her, she also shows her underlying intelligence at times, where he is concerned, knowing his interest in Tessa. I also liked when Charlie’s aunt is sent to give Tessa his regards later, not leaving Mrs. Bates out of the visit. It gave insight into Charlie’s concern for the feelings of others, even those of lower estate.
The love scenes in THE WAY TO A DUKE’S HEART are tasteful and well written, and I found it quite humorous when Tessa surprises Charlie’s brother one afternoon, sneaking up behind him to whisper in his ear, believing it is Charlie. One can only imagine how mortifying that would be to anyone.
THE WAY TO A DUKE’S HEART is a wonderful read, and I recommend it to any die-hard fans of historical romantic fiction. It is a great way to escape for an afternoon. So grab a cup of tea and kick back for a few hours. THE WAY TO A DUKE’S HEART may just touch your heartstrings and bring a soft smile to your face. I know it did mine.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.