Review: Why Dukes Say I Do by Manda Collins

Why Dukes Say I Do by Manda Collins
Series:  Wicked Widows (# 1)
Release Date:  July 30, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Pages: 353
Source: book provided by publisher for review

Even in London society–where everyone knows what you did last season–you never know who’s next in line to walk down the aisle…

TRUE LOVE IS OFTEN FOUND

With her whirlwind social life in London, Lady Isabella Wharton has little interest in the customs of the country. But when her godmother asks her to pay a visit to her bachelor grandson in Yorkshire, Isabella can’t refuse. It behooves her to please the old dowager, since she harbors one of Isabella’s most scandalous secrets. So off she goes to see the newly-titled–and notoriously rustic–Duke of Ormond…

WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT IT

Trevor Carey doesn’t care about what goes on behind ballroom doors. He is content with the simple life–and isn’t ashamed to admit it to a society flirt like Lady Isabella. But the country air brings out a different side of Isabella–one full of longing and passion. Can her sophistication be hiding a desire for love? When a blackmailer from the city arrives to threaten Isabella, Trevor will shield her from harm–even travel to London. Can the duke tackle the ton on Isabella’s behalf …and manage to keep her all to himself?  

 

Review:   Remember the movie “I Know What You Did Last Summer”?  Add a Duke, a Lady, and subtract several hundred years, and you have the plot for Why Dukes Say I Do.  The story opens when Lady Isabella Wharton is trying to save her younger sister from the clutches of her knife-wielding abusive husband.  Having suffered abuse of her own by her (now deceased) husband, she is desperate to save her sister.  Another friend is there with her gun, and somehow the Duke of Ormond is shot and falls on his knife, killing him instantly.  Fast forward a year, and the dead duke’s grandmother is blackmailing Isabella into traveling to the countryside to fetch her other grandson Trevor, the new Duke of Ormond.  Isabella reluctantly travels there to convince Trevor to take up his position in London, but along the way, accidents begin to happen.

Trevor does not want to leave his home and travel to London – he is needed at his country estate by all the people depending on his leadership.  So he sets out to convince Isabella that he is right where he should be.  But the accidents keep happening, and now Isabella is receiving threats telling her someone knows what happened last season.  Trevor finally finds out Isabella is being threatened and blackmailed and he vows to protect her.

I enjoyed this story, although it took quite a while for Isabella and Trevor to fall in love, and even longer for them to kiss.  I understand why, however, as Isabella only knew abuse and hatred from her previous husband, and it takes her a long time to trust another man.  She grows to see Trevor is good, kind, and is doing the best he can to raise his two sisters.

Trevor has his own reasons for not wanting the dukedom – his father was cut off for marrying a commoner, and banished from London to the country.  He has quite a bit of anger toward his grandmother, and refuses to budge from his beloved country home.  With Isabella’s help, he begins to see that he can fulfill his duties from both places.

The author has a great voice, and her stories are always easy to read.  She reaches out and grabs my attention right away, and keeps me interested through the whole story.  Her point of view changes are always clear, and it’s easy to follow whose viewpoint we are seeing the story through.

This is the first book in her “Wicked Widows” trilogy, and the ending has a definite hook – the mystery as to who is really behind the threats continues into the next book.

 

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