Why Dukes Say I Do
Author: Manda Collins
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date of Publication: July 30, 2013
Even in London society—where everyone knows what you did last season—you never know who’s next in line to walk down the aisle…
TRUE LOVE IS OFTEN FOUNDWith her whirlwind social life in London, Lady Isabella Wharton has little interest in the customs of the country. But when her godmother asks her to pay a visit to her bachelor grandson in Yorkshire, Isabella can’t refuse. It behooves her to please the old dowager, since she harbors one of Isabella’s most scandalous secrets. So off she goes to see the newly-titled—and notoriously rustic—Duke of Ormond…
WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT ITTrevor Carey doesn’t care about what goes on behind ballroom doors. He is content with the simple life—and isn’t ashamed to admit it to a society flirt like Lady Isabella. But the country air brings out a different side of Isabella—one full of longing and passion. Can her sophistication be hiding a desire for love? When a blackmailer from the city arrives to threaten Isabella, Trevor will shield her from harm—even travel to London. Can the duke tackle the ton on Isabella’s behalf …and manage to keep her all to himself?
I am so happy to have read a book that didn’t feature an “innocent young miss” and the rakish duke. No, Isabella is far from innocent, though that’s not entirely her own doing. She was married for quite some time and the story begins in a prologue wherein the Duke of Ormond (who was married to Isabella’s sister) dies. He thoroughly deserved to die too. But that death scene gives the blackmailer (actually multiple blackmailers, technically, though only one was sinister) what they need to torment her throughout the book.
Her godmother blackmails her into going to the country to collect the newly titled Duke of Ormond (who inherited because of the death). Trevor has shown no inclination to come and pick up his duties in town as the new duke, and has good reason to. His father had been essentially disowned when he married a commoner, and Trevor turned his back on the family the way they turned their backs on him.
It’s a great set up and Ms. Collins didn’t disappoint with carry through. Isabella was strong, yet vulnerable too when it came to matters of the heart. Her marriage severely sucked. Trevor has good reason for his hatred of his family, though he’s incredibly devoted to those he does care about, along with being very conscientious of his duty to those in his charge (the village around him that depends on him, in part, for their livelihoods and his sisters). These two people really needed each other and of course in the end, they find their way together.
The one weak point for me in this story was the identity of the blackmailer. It seemed fairly clear in some ways (in terms of access at the right time) who the blackmailer probably was, though I didn’t figure out their motivation. Not even close. That was a bit of a shocker.
I don’t believe I’ve read anything by Manda Collins before, but that will definitely change in the future. This was a lovely read and totally worth four stars.
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.