Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: The Way to a Duke's Heart by Caroline Linden

Book Description

Charles de Lacey, Lord Gresham, is running out of time, running from his responsibilities, and running from love.

Destined to be a duke, Charles de Lacey has led a life of decadent pleasure, free of any care for propriety or responsibility. It comes as a terrible shock to learn that he might be stripped of everything, thanks to his father's scandalous past. He has no choice but to find the blackmailer who would ruin him—and his only link to the villain is a woman who may be part of the plot…

To save his fortune and title, he vows he'll stop at nothing—in fact, he's all too eager to unravel the beautiful, tart-tongued Tessa Neville. She intrigues him and tempts him like no other lady ever has. With only his heart to guide him, and keenly aware that his entire future is at stake, Charles must decide: is she the woman of his dreams, or an enemy in disguise?
(Description from Goodreads)

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: The Truth About the Duke #3
Does the series need to be read in order? No

Quick Synopsis

Tessa is in Bath to investigate a possible investment for her brother. Charlie is in Bath to uncover a blackmailer who threatens his wealth and title. Their paths merge as Charlie realizes that Tessa might lead him right to the answers he's searching for.


  • Tessa has a dark past but not super-dark. Her actions and interactions are proportionate to the level of her trauma. I find this a refreshing change from heroines who make really dumb outlandish decisions or put up insurmountable barriers based on something that should not haunt them that long. "OMG I can't ever love anyone because I peed my pants in front of my third grade class and I was so embarassed!!! Alas, although you are perfect for me, I can't ever share my life with another because... PEE!" Tessa's not like that. She lets down her walls when it's appropriate for a strong person to do so.
  • Charlie is a fun hero. I really enjoyed his relationship with his father and his realization that they are much more alike than either of them wanted to admit.
  • The progression of Tessa and Charlie's romance was realistic and fun to read. No insta-lust here but there was also just the right amount of them losing control when they admitted their feelings. I liked the balance.
  • There was more to Mrs. Bates than I first thought and the sly revelation of more of her character made me smile.
  • The blackmail plot was well-paced and handled though I didn't really feel as much suspense about it as I thought I should. This is probably because I haven't read the previous books and am coming in at the end of that particular arc.

    Liked Less
  • I thought Charlie's turnaround from indolent rake to efficient committed dude might have been a little too fast. I think that hearing more of his point of view regarding that change might have made it seem less precipitous.
  • Tessa's whole "I'm not cool-kid enough to be a duchess" hangup was a bit silly. That being said, it thankfully didn't take too much to get her to set that crap aside.


King of Swords
A very enjoyable read that I feel happy recommending to other readers. I will likely read the other books in the series.

Disclosure: I won this book in a contest. A positive review was not a requirement of winning. No compensation was offered or received in exchange for a review.

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