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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
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  • Fabulous, Exciting, Romantic - Great Read

    Series Overview – The Carlyle duchy is in peril and the current duchess is doing everything in her power to track down the possible heirs and begin their training in how to manage the rich and powerful duchy. The duchess has lost all of her children and the current duke was injured many years ago leaving him mentally and physically incapacitated. He is unmarried and has no children. The duchess has had their solicitor, Mr. Edwards, diligently searching the family tree and tracking down the possible heirs. They have identified three possible, and the duchess isn’t thrilled with any of them. One, Maximilian St. James, is a card sharp and someone the duchess certainly hopes will not be the one to inherit. Max was featured in the first book of the series – About a Rogue. The next is a Scot and a soldier, Captain Andrew (Drew) St. James (this book), and the third one – heaven forbid – is a Frenchman – whom I assume will be featured in the third book, All the Duke I Need, releasing at the beginning of 2022. Captain Andrew St. James knew he was very distantly related to a ducal family, but he never gave it any thought because the two branches of the family were estranged and they hadn’t communicated in a couple of generations. As he returned from a particularly nasty job of doing road repairs in the rain, he was shocked to be immediately summoned to Colonel Fitzwilliam’s home where he was given the shock of his life. Evidently, he is the heir presumptive to the Duke of Carlyle. UGH – definitely not on his list of things he wants to happen – but – it does offer the opportunity for him to provide a happier, more comfortable life for his mother and sisters. Yet, when he arrives at the ducal estate, it is to find there is another potential heir and that he has to make himself ‘respectable’. Drew is the closer heir, but if something happens to him, his cousin Maximilian would inherit. Drew is given a sum of cash and instructions to get his life in order so he can live on the Carlyle estate and learn to manage it. Drew sets off for Edinburgh to convince his mother and sisters they want to move to England, and then he has to resign his commission in the army. In other words – he has to uproot and turn his and his family’s lives upside down. Ilsa Ramsay has been sheltered and treated like a child her entire life. Propriety and decorum have been drummed into her until she is absolutely chaffing from it. First, her father and her aunt kept her from doing anything she enjoyed. Then, being the dutiful daughter, she married the man her father told her to marry. That man also controlled her every move and he was even worse than her father and aunt. Now, she is a widow with a fortune and has every intention of enjoying her life. Not that it is easy because her aunt now lives with her and is still constantly on her about propriety. She just needs some freedom to do a few things she enjoys – things other young women get to do. She just has to rebel on occasion. On one such occasion, she dances with – and spontaneously kisses – the most handsome and intriguing man. Too bad she’ll never see him again. Drew is instantly drawn to the beauty who had so much gaiety and life in her – and who spontaneously kissed him. Who is she? How can he find her again? What luck – it turns out she is a great friend to his sisters. The electricity between Drew and Ilsa just sizzles and no matter how hard Ilsa tries to fight it, she just can’t win. She knows there can be nothing between them – he is a ducal heir for goodness sake. However, when major trouble arrives and Ilsa’s safety and security are threatened, Drew will move heaven and earth to help her. I absolutely LOVED Drew and Ilsa. He is the most honorable and upright man you’d want to meet. He loves his mother and sisters and treats them with humor, love, and respect. I also loved Ilsa who just wanted love and companionship, but never got anything except censure. I still don’t love the duchess though. She’s had Drew turn his entire world upside down with the expectation that he is the closest heir to the duke and is expected to inherit – when she knows there is one relative who is actually closer. I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written, fast-paced story filled with delightful, entertaining, and relatable characters. I’ll be excited to meet the final potential heir in the third book of the series. I actually have a feeling he was introduced at the end of this book, but nothing in the book actually said that. A new steward, Mr. Montclair, was hired as estate manager. Could he be our French heir? I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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  • Entertaining and witty with some suspense

    Having met Captain Andrew St James in the first book of the series, I was delighted to read his story. I found the first half of the plot enjoyable and Drew did not disappoint me. His meeting with the seemingly wild Ilsa Ramsay boded well for the future until her family got in the way. Ilsa brought humor to the story, but her inability to stand up for herself disappointed me. As a series of crimes take place, making Drew's own family victims of a thief, it upends all Ilsa's expectations for the future. Drew's steadfastness in the face of incriminating evidence makes him a real hero, but I was unsettled by the eventual outcome of this novel. It is nevertheless well written and I loved the descriptions of Scotland, bringing back memories of my travels in the area. I received a copy of this novel as a gift and this is my honest and voluntary review.

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  • Fun and quite delightful

    I enjoyed this book. If I'm brutally honest here that was really all do to the characters, which I truly loved. I thought Drew and Ilsa were amazing. Skillfully crafted layers and connections made them and the secondary characters incredibly easy to bond with and fall for. The chemistry between this couple burned brightly and I as the reader found it as impossible to resist as the main characters themselves did. The romance, friendship and the familial relationships are strong and compelling and I found myself consumed by them. For the most part I found the story fun and quite delightful. This is my frank, freely posted review.

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  • Adorable couple

    Due to his distant cousin's untimely death, Scotsman Drew is shocked to discover that he's the heir to a dukedom. His first order of business is to tell his family. HIs second is to resign from the army. And his third is to find a proper English wife to help him fulfill his responsibilities. But when he meets merry widow Ilsa, his sister's best friend in Edinburgh, he's smitten. Could she be the wife he needs? Or could her family's scandal endanger his freedom, and even his life? I loved this book. Drew and Ilsa were interesting characters individually and adorable as a couple. The romance developed naturally and organically, with a strong attraction that grew into love and respect. The scandal didn't really hit until the second half of the book, testing the couple's devotion. This is, unbelievably, my first Caroline Linden book. Now I can't wait read through her backlist. While this novel stands alone, you might enjoy the series more if you read it in order. The first book, ABOUT A ROGUE, is just as much fun. Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.

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  • An heir to a dukedom

    An heir to a dukedom. Is most definitely in want of a wife. I really enjoyed Drew, an army captain, who has suddenly become an heir to a dukedom. He's responsible. decent, takes care and supports his mother and three sisters. I liked that his first thought was what a most unexpected change in fortune would mean for his sisters' futures. First item on the list? Find a suitable wife. One kiss later, he's smitten with IIsa, who is a mystery to him, first her identity and then her character. Recommend. 4.5

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