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Sebastian Digby, the new Duke of Wycliff, was one of the Wicked Wycliffs, known for being an undisciplined lot. Having inherited his mother’s rigid self- control, it clashed with his Wycliff blood. Instead of feeling fortunate to be a duke, he believed it was more like a burden than a blessing. The previous duke had left debts that Sebastian would have to pay. Sebastian also had no plans of getting himself shackled into marriage. While in England, he had other plans; to plan and seek funding for the expedition of a lifetime, before he set sail once more. He’d dreamed of leading a proper expedition and being the first European to go to Timbuktu and back. He wanted to accomplish something on his own that had nothing to do with the circumstances of his birth.
Throughout the conversation during his talkative cousin Basil’s visit, Sebastian could not help noticing the curious housemaid, who was obviously eavesdropping. So far the blue-eyed, saucy housemaid was the only thing of interest he had found in England. But it was only after the maid left the room that Sebastian unlocked and opened the door that led to a room cut off from the rest of the house, as this was where he kept those things he wished to keep secret.
Eliza made a strange housemaid as she had never learned to be subservient. Walking in on an unclothed duke, Eliza could not stop from staring at his strange markings, which he called tattoos. Overlooking common sense and better judgment when satisfying her curiosity, especially when investigating a story, Eliza was caught examining his tattoos when another maid, Jenny, came into the room. This was fortunate for Eliza as she did not know where her exploration would have led her. Now if she could only figure out what he hid in his secret room.
Like the previous Wycliffs, Sebastian found himself hankering after the maid when he had other problems that he should be facing. He had just received the news that he, the eighth Duke of Wycliff, was broke. There would be no expedition. In fact, he would probably have to sell the furniture to cover his debts.
With her first column about to be published, Eliza could not rest on her laurels; she had to get her next column prepared. But working near the duke day after day, Eliza discovers that not only is he an unusual duke, he is a man she could love. However, she has secrets of her own that make it nearly impossible to pursue a relationship with this intriguing man. Being close to him not only ignites her desire, it is nurtured into a slow smoldering fire. But as her column begins ruining the duke’s plans, she has to make a choice. Which will she choose; her career or the man she loves?
Author Maya Rodale’s latest book, THE TATTOOED DUKE, the third book in her WRITING GIRLS series, is a witty and passionate historical romance that held my attention from the very first page v right up to the very satisfying ending. Eliza always took the extra step to get her story, no matter where it led her. But in her youth she made a mistake that she is still paying for and it could prevent her from a future with the one man she could love. Sebastian spent the last ten years traveling around the world and finds it hard to settle in one place. But finally he has found a woman who makes him question his wanderlust, someone who brings warmth into his life. So her deceit makes it extra hard for him to accept. Packed with engaging, complex characters, humor, blackmail, secrets, deceit, clever banter, true love and a city on tenterhooks awaiting Eliza’s next article, this story is a keeper…one you will want to read more than once. I highly recommend THE TATTOOED DUKE. Readers of the WRITING GIRLS series will be reunited with the characters from Ms. Rodale’s previous books in this series. This book can be read as a standalone. But for additional enjoyment, I advise starting with the first book in this delightful series; A TALE OF TWO LOVERS, followed by A GROOM OF ONE’S OWN and then THE TATTOOED DUKE. I look forward to the next book in this series.
This book was reviewed using a digital galley via Netgalley.com. It’s free for professional readers! Check it out: www.Netgalley.com.
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