Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Thanks to NetGalley and Avon for providing me with a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Philippa Kirkpatrick is all but a duchess as a charge of the Duchess of Carlyle, and tends to the estate as well as she can and most of that is tending to the Duchess’ every whim and the current Duke’s ailing health. When the new steward arrives looking more of a pirate than a proper Englishman she tries to think the better of him, especially hearing about his heroics on the land.
William Montclair was originally in London with his brother to get the family shipping business off the ground, but after a turn of bad luck he takes a job to steward the Carlyle estate. He’s met with the obstinate Philippa and the prickly Duchess of Carlyle who threatens to fire him at every turn. Enchanted by the young lady and the clash of wits that occur, he decides to try his best to keep the job. Even though his social status and secrets threaten to keep them apart, he cannot stay away from her.
This is the third book in the Desperately Seeking Duke series by Caroline Linden, which in my opinion can be read as a standalone. The thread that ties the book with the others as far as I’m aware, as I have only read the first, isn’t too thick. Though I do intend to read the second as soon as I can. I adore this series and Caroline Linden has become one of my new favorite historical romance authors!
Philippa isn’t a duchess herself, she is the daughter of a solider, only related to the current Duchess through marriage. The Duchess’ daughter was her step-mother. I would also like to mention, which seems to not be in any of the promotional material, that Philippa is part Indian. I love seeing a historical heroine of color! I also loved how connected Philippa remained to her her culture, most of her gowns are described in beautiful jewel tones and she had some of her mothers jewelry along with a portrait of her hanging in her rooms.
There’s also something about Caroline Linden’s heroes that set them apart. I know it’s all the rage to be a rake in a historical, but from the two books I’ve read from this series, the men are complete gentleman even without the title. It’s really a breath of fresh air, not that being a rake isn’t terrible, but it can feel a little bit overdone at times. Give me a softer hero or a working class hero from time to time.
That said this book broke my heart a few times. There’s lots of banter and angst and longing. I really loved how they butt heads in the first of the book. I would recommend it to everyone!