Tuesday, December 20, 2016

seriously romantic: the trouble with dukes by grace burrowes

megan windham belongs to a large complicated family who have something like 10 books between them, and this one happens to be the first i've read. and while it is possible to read it as a standalone, since technically megan belongs to the original duke of moreland's brother's side of the family and this is supposed to be the kick-off to a new spin-off series. it's the kind of thing where having the background knowledge might make this book more satisfying or at least less confusing.

i have never read a grace burrowes book before, so i was incredibly at sea when the windham brothers were in a room together. i couldn't keep any one of them straight. and while clearly they were behaving in character, the novel presumed a familiarity with their habits that i did not share, so i was less amused about spending time with these characters and more interested in spending time with megan and hamish, the titular troublesome duke of the trouble with dukes. granted one could argue that moreland was also troublesome, but it's pretty clear from the start that hamish machugh is the one causing trouble.

he's recently arrived from the peninsular wars, and rumors abound about his insubordination, his ruthlessness in battle, his abandonment of his troops, and on top of all that he is a scot. society dubs him the duke of murder a play (on his actual title that was murdoch). (actually when murdoch and moreland were in a scene together with other characters or were being discussed by other characters i had to think really hard about who was who. the names are pretty similar.)

here's the thing, megan and hamish fall in love from the start. like there's no bickering, there's no drama about their feelings for each other. megan is being blackmailed and she trusts hamish to handle it. and he does. and when the blackguard who is blackmailing her threatens to derail their happiness at several turns he figures out a way to put him in his place, while megan finally stands up to her bully, who is actually the worst.

if you have read the windham novels from before, it's probably really delightful to be back in this world. this is a big nosy family where the male characters behave like interfering old ladies and the women are the rational masterminds behind it all. megan's sisters are likely to be the subjects of the next novels in the series, and our introduction to each of these is well-done, though i am hoping that youngest sister arwen is next, as she was my favorite. i wonder if her entanglement with colin machugh will be explored or if her story will go in another direction, since her sister landed his brother. but those two characters had some interesting chemistry and it would be a shame if they couldn't be together.

**the trouble with dukes will publish on december 20, 2016. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of forever (grand central publishing) in exchange for my honest review.

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