Driven into exile years earlier, due to family scandal, Declan Sinclair is called home, devastated to discover his brother has been murdered and he’s the new Duke of Darington. When clues point to the man he blames for both his exile and his brother’s death, Declan resolves to ruin the culprit. If only the daughter of the man’s business partner, lovely Lady Alethea Swinton, didn’t tempt his resolve.
Lady Alethea Swinton has cultivated her pristine reputation in the hopes of winning her father’s praise. When her childhood friend returns, Alethea finds she’s willing to court scandal and defy her father to help the handsome Declan uncover the truth behind his brother’s death. Until she realises Declan’s redemption will mean her family’s ruin.
This is a childhood friends-to-lovers Regency romance that covers all the bases readers expect of the genre.
I liked the way the story began: at the theatre, with the heroine seeing the hero for the first time since they were young. I liked the connection between them, even if I’d definitely not feel immediately comfortable with someone I haven’t seen for many, many years. This was a solid pairing, and I think both characters were more distinct than they usually are in this genre.
The hero is mixed-race, and is a very unlikely man to fall into the position of a duke upon the suspicious death of his brother. He faces the usual prejudices, and also the fact most people struggle to believe he is who he says he is.
This suspicious death is the basis of the story. I’ve seen some reviews mention there were some holes in the plot, but as I was more interested in the relationship in than the mystery, I’m not going to bother picking things apart here.
What I really enjoyed were the little snippets of life in London that helped to set the scene.
This is a solid entry to the Regency romance world. I’m sure the author will grow with more books under her belt.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.