The Truth About the Duke: Book 1
Rating: 5 stars
Lady Francesca Gordon and Edward de Lacey are both after the same thing – to engage the services of London’s top solicitor. Francesca gets there first but when a note arrives from Edward, the solicitor drops her like a hot potato in favor of helping a Duke’s son. Francesca needs help finding her young niece. Her sister died years ago and then more recently her brother-in-law died. Her brother-in-law told her that the niece (Georgina) would live with her in the event of his death. However, the step-mother and her brother refuse turn Georgina over and end up disappearing for parts unknown. Francesca wants the lawyer to argue her right to guardianship in the courts. Meanwhile – Edward’s father the Duke of Durham has just died. Upon his death, the family solicitor informs Edward & his brother Gerard that, years ago before the Duke married their mother, he married somebody else. They never ended up living as man and wife and realized their mistake after the fact. The problem is that he was never divorced and he never knew for a fact that the other woman died before marrying again. They also learn that shortly before his death, the Duke was receiving blackmail letters from some anonymous sender. The Duke had tried to find the blackmailer but was unable to. This now leaves his children grieving his death, but also feeling somewhat betrayed because the Duke never confided this to them. Each of the three sons plans to deal with the situation in a different way. Charlie, the oldest and heir, prefers to do nothing and let his brothers handle it. Gerard, the soldier, plans to search for the blackmailer and enact some street justice. Edward, the planner and man of business, decides to find the best lawyer to plan their defense of the Dukedom.
When Francesca blazes a trail to Edward’s doorstep to demand help and plead her case, sparks fly between the two. She leaves both defeated and angry. Edward goes to tell his fiancé what the situation is, thinking that she has a right to know. He swears her to secrecy. She tells her papa, who sells the story to the gossip rag. Upon seeing the story in the paper, Francesca goes to Edward with a new proposition: help her find a good lawyer to help her & in return she will help convince the owner of the gossip sheet to print a retraction since she knows him. She fulfills her part and he helps her. After spending so much time in each other’s company hunting Georgina, the spark of attraction they first felt grows. Soon they give in and the passion is electric. I liked both characters. Edward is a little bit Mr. Darcy material. This was my fav story of the series so far.