Title: The Trouble with Dukes by Grace Burrowes
Windham Brides Series Book One
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: C
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
THEY CALL HIM THE DUKE OF MURDER…
The gossips whisper that the new Duke of Murdoch is a brute, a murderer, and even worse—a Scot. They say he should never be trusted alone with a woman. But Megan Windham sees in Hamish something different, someone different.
No one was fiercer at war than Hamish MacHugh, though now the soldier faces a whole new battlefield: a London Season. To make his sisters happy, he’ll take on any challenge—even letting their friend Miss Windham teach him to waltz. Megan isn’t the least bit intimidated by his dark reputation, but Hamish senses that she’s fighting battles of her own. For her, he’ll become the warrior once more, and for her, he might just lose his heart.
The Trouble with Dukes by Grace Burrowes is an entertaining, sweet historical romance. While this is the first novel in the Windham Brides series, I strongly encourage readers to read the Windham series since MANY of the secondary characters from these previous books figure prominently in The Trouble with Dukes.
Hamish MacHugh is dismayed to discover he is now the Duke of Murdoch. He wants nothing more than to return to his beloved Scotland but alas, he must put the needs of his family first. He is hoping his stay in England will be brief as his beloved sisters, Edana and Rhona, replenish their wardrobe and enjoy as many social gatherings as possible. Hamish’s wartime reputation precedes him which makes him quite uncomfortable at the numerous balls and parties he must attend with his sisters and brother, Colin. Gruff and plainspoken, Hamish makes quite a few social gaffes as he tries to navigate the complicated world of the British aristocracy but he is also rather softhearted when it comes to the people he cares about.
Megan Windham is a lovely young woman with poor eyesight and a giving heart. She finds herself in the unenviable position of fighting off the attentions of Sir Fletcher Pilkington, a loathsome suitor from a suitable family. She is grateful to Hamish when he steps in to aid her during an unpleasant encounter with Pilkington and her respect for the troubled war hero grows deeper each time they meet. Megan is quite taken with the attractive Scotsman but she is caught in an untenable situation with Pilkington that could ruin her and her sisters’ reputations if the truth about her youthful mistake were ever to be revealed.
Megan and Hamish are a wonderful couple who find it quite easy to confide in one another. Their scenes together are a wonderful mix of delightful banter and thoughtful exchanges about their lives and simmering attraction. However, with Hamish planning to return to Scotland as soon as possible, he sees no future for the two of them. But Megan’s extended family makes it impossible for him to say no to their “invitations” and the more time he spends with her, the more smitten he becomes. After she confesses the mess she has gotten herself into with Pilkington, Hamish comes up with a plan to get her out of trouble. After executing their scheme to rescue her from her detestable suitor’s clutches, Hamish and Megan’s relationship deepens but is Fletcher truly out of the picture?
While The Trouble with Dukes is an overall enjoyable novel, it is difficult to understand why Megan would not tell her family about the situation with Fletcher. The Windham family is obviously quite close and they are also very influential so it would make sense for her to ask them for their assistance with her problem. Pilkington’s interest in other heiresses is well-known so it seems impossible that NO ONE in her family is the least bit suspicious about his motives when he sets his sights on Megan. Even more unbelievable is the fact that her parents seem to be encouraging the match! This entire part of the storyline is fairly ridiculous and somewhat unbelievable.
The inclusion of the other Windham characters is rather bewildering if you have not read the Windham series. Between the use of proper names, titles and numerous nicknames, it is virtually impossible to keep up with who everyone is and who their spouses are. While fans of the other series will enjoy catching up with favorite characters from earlier novels, newcomers might them hopelessly confusing.
The Trouble with Dukes is a charming historical romance with a cast of appealing characters. The storyline is interesting but the pacing of the novel is a little slow. Although a bit flawed, it is a nice beginning to Grace Burrowes’ Windham Brides series.