The Truth About the Duke, Book 2 - Blame It on Bath

Author: Caroline Linden

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: February 28, 2012

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5.0

Format: PRINT

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Gerard de Lacey, the youngest of the three de Lacey brothers, and his siblings lost their mother and baby sister during childbirth years ago when they were quite young. Recently their father, the Duke of Durham, passed away, leaving quite a shock behind. Gerald and his brothers are all grown up now and had expected to inherit the vast fortune left behind by their father. But their father had not told them that he had been married when he was very young. Later, he had married their mother without obtaining a divorce from his first wife, making the three men illegitimate. Although they are trying to fight for their inheritance, they are also taking steps to get on with their lives just in case. For Gerald, being the youngest son, he had gone into the army. Presently, he is on an extended leave from the army due to his father’s death. His plan is to marry a wealthy heiress, an urgent matter since the gossip has already started circulating about the Durham Dilemma. Deciding to find a bride before the gossip spreads too far, he is determined to seek his bride outside of London. Since his brother Edward decided to confide in his fiancée, who subsequently broke up with him and told her father of the scandal, the gossip sheets have had a field day. Low on money, her father sold the information to the scandal sheets.

Lady Katherine ‘Kate’ Howe, the widow of Viscount Howe, is a very wealthy woman. Her husband had borrowed money from her father before his death. But the terms of her father’s will left his fortune plus the repayment of the loan to Kate. With her husband’s death, there is the real risk of the new viscount losing a significant part of his estate to Kate or going bankrupt to repay her. But he has decided to settle the debt in a different way; he will marry Kate himself. Not really a beautiful woman to start with, Kate’s looks are downplayed even more by the dull gowns her mother convinces her to wear. Besides that, her mother and her husband’s constant insults about her appearance have made her withdraw into herself. Kate’s mother, who has a love of nobility and status, despite her own poor background, convinced her to marry Lord Howe, a much older man. At times abused by her husband before his death, she is determined not to marry his heir, who is cut from the same cloth as her husband. When she sees the scandal involving Gerard and his family, she knows he will need money.

Sneaking out and approaching Gerard, she strikes up a meeting and convinces him to accept a marriage of convenience. He will save her from marrying the new Viscount Howe and he will have her fortune. But their marriage will also be a real marriage in every way. For many years Kate has harbored a love for Gerard, due to a kindness he showed her when she was young. That is one of the reasons she singled him out for her proposition.  But can she win his love, or is she doomed to an unrequited love?

Absolutely scrumptious, BLAME IT ON BATH, the second novel in talented author Caroline Linden’s THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DUKE trilogy, is a suspense-filled and passionate historical romance. Although part of a series, this story can be read as a standalone. But for even more enjoyment, start with the novella I LOVE THE EARL, which sets the story up. Then follow that with the first novel in the trilogy; ONE NIGHT IN LONDON, topped off by BLAME IT ON BATH. I am eagerly awaiting the final book in this delightful trilogy; THE WAY TO A DUKE’S HEART, Charlie, the duke’s, story. I loved watching Kate gain confidence and begin to stand up for herself, once she was no longer constantly in her mother’s company. Although it is a marriage of convenience, Gerard and Kate are well matched and I look forward to seeing them again in Charlie’s story. This story is brimming with humor, engaging characters, suspense, romance and love, making it a keeper. Do not miss BLAME IT ON BATH!

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By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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