Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Review: How to Catch a Duke by Grace Burrowes

How to Catch a Duke by Grace Burrowes
Series: Rogues to Riches, Book 6
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Historical Romance 
How to Catch a Duke cover
ISBN: 9781538753835
Release Date: April 13, 2021
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

“I have come to ask you to kill me, my lord.”

Miss Abigail Abbott desperately needs to disappear—permanently—and the only person she trusts to help her do that is Lord Stephen Wentworth, heir to the Duke of Walden. Stephen is brilliant, charming, and—when he needs to be—absolutely ruthless. So ruthless that he proposes marriage instead of "murder" to keep Abigail safe.

Stephen was smitten the instant his sister introduced him to Abigail, a woman with the dignity and determination of a duchess and the courage of a lioness. When she accepts his courtship of convenience, he also discovers she kisses like his most intimate wish come true. For Abigail, their arrangement is a sham to escape her dangerous enemies. For Stephen, it's his one chance to share a lifetime with the lady of his dreams—if only he can convince her his love is real.

The brilliant and enigmatic Lord Stephen Wentworth has met his match in a no-nonsense inquiry agent. I was looking forward to seeing what kind of woman Grace Burrowes would pair Stephen with and she did not disappoint. How to Catch a Duke is an engaging read thanks to its two well-drawn, unique leads and the refreshing openness that characterizes their romance.

Abigail Abbott is exhausted and at the end of her rope when she goes to Stephen for help. Someone is after old letters for reasons she cannot understand. But she won’t continue to put her household in danger so her last resort is to go to Stephen for help faking her own death. Except for as clever as Abigail is, Stephen is far more conniving and isn’t about to let the most intriguing woman he’s ever met vanish. He convinces her to agree to a fake courtship; his family is untouchable and thus the protection will extend to her while they figure out why someone is after the letters. Abigail knows there’s no way a match between her and a duke’s heir could ever be made real. But Stephen is a Wentworth. And Wentworths never let anything like society’s silly opinions stand in their way.

Abigail and Stephen make a great match. Stephen has a big heart and he loves deeply, but he also has a devious mind and would likely have gone down the wrong path at a young age if his cousin hadn’t taken him in hand and redirected his energies. Abigail is a straight-talking inquiry agent who cuts right through the façade Stephen wears and sees him for all that he is. I loved their frank talks and the banter between them. I also really loved that both of them are vulnerable. Abigail is statuesque and comments from others about her looks have made her a bit self-conscious. And Stephen, whose knee was smashed and didn’t heal properly is incredibly self-conscious about his scars, the use of his canes, and his fear of humiliation. I loved that each of them saw the other for the gorgeous person they were. Neither dismissed the other’s vulnerabilities but they made it clear how they saw them and helped build their confidence. They truly fell for each other in a fairly low drama way and their support for one another gave their romance a rock-solid feel.

The mystery of who is after Abigail and why is interesting and played out in a mostly satisfying manner. More importantly, the mystery served to draw Abigail and Stephen together and I was most invested in the love story. And it wouldn’t be a Rogues to Riches novel without at least a few additional Wentworths playing a role and I enjoyed visiting with Quinn, Jane, Duncan, Matilda, and Ned. If you’re new to the series, Burrowes avoids spoilers so you can easily start with How to Catch a Duke and pick up on the family dynamics. All in all, I greatly enjoyed How to Catch a Duke. The Wentworth family is refreshingly different from the norm and any outing with them is guaranteed to be entertaining.

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.