Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Review: The Duke Heist by Erica Ridley

The Duke Heist by Erica Ridley
Series: The Wild Wynchesters, Book 1
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Historical Romance 
The Duke Heist cover
ISBN: 9781538719527
Release Date: February 9, 2021
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Chloe Wynchester is completely forgettable -- a curse that gives her the ability to blend into any crowd. When the only father she's ever known makes a dying wish for his adopted family of orphans to recover a missing painting, she's the first one her siblings turn to for stealing it back. No one expects that in doing so, she'll also abduct a handsome duke.

Lawrence Gosling, the Duke of Faircliffe, is tortured by his father's mistakes. To repair his estate's ruined reputation, he must wed a highborn heiress. Yet when he finds himself in a carriage being driven hell-for-leather down the cobblestone streets of London by a beautiful woman who refuses to heed his commands, he fears his heart is hers. But how can he sacrifice his family's legacy to follow true love?

An accidental abduction is only the beginning of the fun in The Duke Heist. Erica Ridley’s first Wild Wynchesters book is wonderful, filled with characters who will grab your heart and make you impatient to see what’s next for the delightful Wynchester family.

Chloe Wynchester is one of six adopted siblings who were raised by a loving baron who encouraged them to be themselves and to do what’s right. In the wake of his death, the siblings are determined to recover a very special painting from the Duke of Faircliffe. The icy duke won’t give them the time of day, but the siblings are determined to get back what Faircliffe’s father stole from them. Except their recovery plan goes awry and lands Chloe in the unexpected position of being an accidental duke-napper.

What follows I’ll leave readers to discover, but the titular heist is only the beginning of the adventure for Chloe and Lawrence. Chloe has the talent of being forgettable, which is useful when she needs it to be, but heartbreaking at other times. Chloe longs to be loved by someone other than her siblings. She also desperately wants to be seen for all that she is. Chloe is quick and clever, but her hidden vulnerabilities wrapped around my heart. I wanted to see her get all that she wanted and Erica Ridley did not let me down. Lawrence truly sees Chloe. The icy duke isn’t coldhearted at all, but rather a man struggling to save all that his father destroyed. Lawrence is a flawed hero who sticks his foot in his mouth more than once. But even when he screws up you can tell he has a good heart. More importantly, he learns from his mistakes and tries to do better. Lawrence has hidden vulnerabilities and secret yearnings as well. There’s a loneliness to him that made me want to give him a hug. I loved watching both he and Chloe open up and be their true selves with each other. Though Lawrence’s mission to restore his family legacy threatens to keep he and Chloe apart, it’s clear they’re made for each other. Their friendship and romance kept me glued to the pages of their story. Ridley manages to balance sweetness with sensuality, humor with heart, and drama with character growth extremely well.

As I previously mentioned, The Duke Heist is the first book in the Wild Wynchesters series. Chloe’s siblings all play supporting roles and they are unique, intriguing characters I can’t wait to learn more about. Their absolute love for each other and the way they work as a team stole my heart. They’re the kind of family you read about and immediately want to be part of. I finished Chloe and Lawrence’s story a well-satisfied reader, but I absolutely cannot wait to see the rest of the Wynchesters find their happily ever afters!

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.