Gerard de Lacey is determined to find the man who tried to blackmail his late father, both to stop the blackmail and to discover—and dispose of—any evidence the villain has about his father’s clandestine first marriage. If that proof is made public, it could prove Gerard and his brothers illegitimate, and strip them of their inheritance. And just in case, Gerard intends to find himself a wealthy bride. One way or another, he’s not going to be left destitute. But he’s not expecting a rich widow to find him and ask him to marry her.
Katherine Howe’s first marriage was one of dreary duty, arranged by her wealthy father to a penniless lord. Now that she’s being pressured to marry her late husband’s heir, she’s desperately in search of a better option. Gerard de Lacey, with his sinful good looks, charming manner, and looming scandal fits her needs perfectly. The fact that she’s nursed a secret affection for him for years only makes it better—and worse. Because Gerard will marry her, for her fortune—but will he love her for herself, as she loves him?
Gerard de Lacey is a 3rd son. He has his military career but really what are his long term prospects? Well, he doesn’t plan on leaving the military any time soon but he really needs to help secure his families future. You see his oldest brother may be knocked out of his seat as the Duke of Durham and then Gerard and his brothers would be very hard up for money. Gerard decides that he needs to marry a wealthy heiress and quickly before the family is ruined and he can’t find a woman.
Surprisingly this happens rather quickly as his first night on the outskirts of London brings a knock on his door. A lady asks for a meeting and he reluctantly accepts. The woman is Katherine Howe, widow, and she has a proposition for Gerard. She would like to marry him in order to avoid having to marry her former husbands nephew who she finds controlling and just…well, yucky. lol She knows that Gerard needs funds and is willing to marry him. Gerard thinks about it and finally accepts but on one condition, that the marriage isn’t one of convenience and that they will most definitely consummate the marriage.
Katherine and Gerard marry immediately, much to the nephews dismay, and immediately high off to Bath. Gerard intends to find the author of the letters that have been sent to blackmail the de Lacey family. While in Bath Katherine finds herself coming out of her shell and Gerard ends up finding a woman who thrills him both in and out of the bedroom.
This is book 2 in the Truth About the Duke series and it was really good. I hadn’t read Linden before I started this series but I’m fast becoming a really big fan. I just love the way she puts a story together and her characters feel so real.
First there’s Katherine – this poor woman has been controlled practically since birth. Her father was a wonderful man and he and Katherine got along great…until her mother stepped in. When Katherine was old enough her mother took over and would no longer allow her to do the fun things she loved doing with her father. It was all about being a proper lady. Only…Katherine’s plain. That’s not a bad thing but her mother is a great beauty and the mother doesn’t let Katherine forget her looks for one moment. She dresses Katherine in dull colors and when she arranges a marriage for her daughter to a much older man she tells Katherine that it’s the best she can ever hope for. Wow. With a mother like that, who needs enemies? Katherine was strong though and survived not only her mother’s control but then her husbands (as well as his abuse) and then her husband’s nephew. Man, I just wanted her to tell everyone to go to hell! But then there’s Gerard. He was nice to her once and she’s been half in love with him ever since. When she sees her opportunity to get the man that she is infatuated with and get out from under the control she goes for it. Yay, Katherine!
Gerard is a really nice guy and I loved his character. He loves his family and would do anything to save them from ruin. He’s fun loving but he really seemed to see the good in people. He encouraged her to break out of the mold that she’d lived in most of her life and because outgoing and wear bright colors and she loved it. His supporting her was so heartwarming. He was, of course, a perfectly oblivious man when it came to Katherine’s feelings. He didn’t see Katherine, or as he called her Kate, as a plain woman. He looked at her and he saw a kind, wonderful person and when she smiled it did him in. I loved that he could see the beauty behind the plainness.
The overall series problem of finding out who’s behind the blackmail and scandal continued. Some information is found but the de Lacey family doesn’t know if it will be enough to help in the end. I love that we get some information but matters aren’t concluded completely. I have to admit I would have liked a bit more inside info by the end of the book but alas I have to wait until book 3. This is a series I would definitely recommend reading.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5