Series: Reece Family Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Historical Romance
Re-issue Date: January 26, 2016
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Marcus Reece, Duke of Exeter, has spent most of his life pulling his twin brother out of trouble. An occasional thank you would suffice; instead, his resentful sibling forges his name to a marriage license and presents him with an unwanted wife. She's a vicar’s widow with a mind of her own who may be the first person in Marcus’s well-ordered life to make him feel…completely out of control.
Hannah can't help but curse her own idiocy. Dire straits have led her to the altar with a gentleman she hardly knows. Played for a fool, she’s embarrassed, furious, and worse, married to an equally outraged stranger—an exasperating man who unleashes all manner of emotions in Hannah, not to mention unwanted desire. Reluctantly she agrees to play the wife until he can sort out the mess. But the nearness of the undeniably attractive duke and the passion in his black eyes unsettles her well-guarded heart—making her want to do so much more than 'act' the role of blissful bride…
Marcus Reece, Duke of Exeter, likes his life orderly, which is no surprise since his twin, David, seems to cause as much chaos as he can. But David’s latest act – marrying a vicar’s widow and signing Marcus’s name in the register – goes above and beyond. Marcus doesn’t want a wife, particularly not one he didn’t marry himself. Yet there’s something about Hannah Preston that Marcus can’t resist. And as the two of them try to untangle David’s mess without causing a scandal, it becomes clear that the duke’s errant twin may have done them the greatest favor of all.
What a Gentleman Wants charmed me with its refreshingly different characters. Marcus has his world turned upside down when he finds out he’s married to Hannah, but unlike many a historical romance hero, he doesn’t blame the heroine for the mess someone else created. That doesn’t mean he’s instantly taken with Hannah, either. For her part, Hannah is a widow with a young child who took David up on his offer of a marriage of convenience in order to secure her daughter’s future so that she would never be caught in a situation like Hannah’s. And though Hannah is horrified to learn she’s been played, her spine of steel and common sense enable her to stand up to her cold, aristocratic husband. Though there’s a simmering attraction between them, neither Hannah nor Marcus give in to it. Instead, though they do their best to avoid one another, they slowly begin to learn more about one another. It’s interesting to see Hannah and Marcus peel back the layers of each other’s characters. Hannah is nothing like the ladies of the ton, but she makes Marcus come alive, breaking through the layers of ice and humanizing him. What I liked best about What a Gentleman Wants is that there isn’t heavy drama. Both Marcus and Hannah act like adults, talk when things are wrong, and slowly, sweetly fall in love. It’s a wonderful change of pace from the norm and I absolutely adored their quiet romance.
A subplot involving a counterfeiting ring adds suspense to the tale, but what appealed to me most about this book were the characters. Marcus’s sister and stepmother endeared themselves to me immediately, and even the rapscallion David managed to win me over. Marcus and Hannah’s romance is the first book in the Reece Family trilogy and I cannot wait to see what author Caroline Linden has in store for David and Celia Reece!
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.