Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Series: To Marry a Rogue
Title: Only a Duke Will Do
Author: Tamara Gill
Publisher: Entangled Select Historical
Published: February 30th, 2017
This is an emotional roller coaster Regency romance written by a skilled wordsmith who brings the characters, their interactions and feelings vividly to life in this page turner novel. I loved it!
Eighteen year old Lady Isolde Worthingham is in love with the man she’s to marry tomorrow Merrick Mountshaw, the Duke of Moore. They met at a country dance and both love each other and can’t wait to be married . . . . Until her spiteful, deceitful and manipulative supposedly best friend intervenes to cause a scandal that forces him to marry her friend rather than Isolde. Heartbroken, Isolde takes refuge in her Scottish estates for more than five years before acknowledging she needs to see her family and returns to London for the season. She didn’t expect to see Merrick again but nor did she expect to discover his marriage is the talk of the ton and definitely not a happy one. Isolde and Merrick are still in love with each other but he’s still married to his now scandalous wife and has a young son. As she seeks to find a suitable husband, he’s torn as he doesn’t believe she should be with anyone but him. The angst and turmoil between the two just rolls off the pages, taking the reader into their tumultuous relationship. With both being betrayed by someone they previously trusted, being thrust apart, this is their emotive journey to love and a possible happy ever after that seems so far out of reach for most of the story!
I have no hesitation in highly recommending this dramatic regency romance to anyone who enjoys this genre, it is well written with great characters together with so many twists and turns making it an enthralling read. I can’t wait to read the sequel which I believe will feature Isolde’s sister, Lady Alice Worthingham.
An Excerpt to whet your appetite:
“I’ve lost him. And I love him still.” Her voice broke at the realization.
Her mother shushed her, pulling her into an embrace. “I know, darling. I know you do. But there is nothing for it now. You will have to return with us to Dunsleigh.”
Isolde thought of all she had lost, not just Merrick, but her future, their plans. Their trip away to the Continent, Paris, Rome, and all the delightful places in between that they were going to visit, crumbled in her chest like her heart. “He’s really going to marry her, isn’t he?” Even saying such a thing sounded absurd, and yet it was the truth. The truth as she would know it from tonight onward.
“Yes, he is.” Her mother’s face was a mask of concern and pain. “I’m so sorry, darling. You did not deserve this.”
Isolde strove to calm down before her sobs woke her sisters and they started with their meddling questions. Her body hiccupped for breath; her eyes, so swollen and sore, hurt when she blinked.
“Come, you must sleep.” Her mother helped her stand, and Isolde didn’t fight her decree. Tiredness would succeed over her mind and, for a sweet moment, she’d forget what had transpired this night. It was enough to make her lie down and try.
She settled under the blankets. The maid knocked on the door and her mother ushered her into the room, taking possession of the glass of whisky and a cold compress. Isolde downed the drink in one gulp, grateful for the burning amber liquid and the cooling cloth against her eyes.
The tears started afresh when the comforting embrace of her mother wrapped around her, pulling her close and holding her as if to never let her go. Not since she was a child had her mother acted in such a way, and some of the despair left her, knowing she had the support of her family.
She would need them in the months to come.
She took a shuddering breath. How could a night once filled with so much excitement and anticipation twist into such despair and horror? Rolling onto her side, the ring Merrick had given her pressed into her cheek.
She held out her hand and looked at the cluster of five round diamonds, each of them encased in a bed of silver and sitting on a band of gold that was etched into a leaflike pattern. The ring had been Merrick’s grandmother’s, and it had been the most beautiful gift Isolde had ever received.
But no longer. Now it represented a fractured circle of trust, pulled apart and unfixable.
She yanked it off, unable to throw it no matter how much she longed to. She reached over and placed it on the cabinet beside her bed, looking at it as it twinkled prettily under the candlelight. The ring and its beauty were as fickle as its owner.
Without a Season, Lady Isolde Worthingham captured the Duke of Moore’s heart at a country dance. But on the eve of her wedding, a scandal that rocked the ton and sent her fleeing to Scotland alone and unwed, leaves her perfectly planned future in a tangle of disgrace and heartbreak.
Merrick Mountshaw, the Duke of Moore loathes the pitiful existence he hides from the ton. With a scandalous wife he never wanted, who flaunts her many indiscretions, life is a never-ending parade of hell. When the one woman he loved and lost returns to London, he knows he can no longer live without her.
But vows and past hurts are not easily forgotten. Love may not win against the ton when a too proper Lord and Lady play by the rules.