Duke of My Heart
Season For Scandal, Book #1
By Kelly Bowen
Author Website: http://www.kellybowen.net
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una
Scandal can be handled…
Captain Maximus Harcourt, the unconventional tenth Duke of Alderidge, can deal with tropical storms, raging seas, and the fiercest of pirates. But he’s returned home from his latest voyage to find a naked earl – quite inconveniently deceased – tied to his missing sister’s bed. And he has only one place to turn. Now he’s at the mercy of the captivating Miss Ivory Moore of Chegarre & Associates, known throughout London for smoothing over the most dire of scandals.
Miss Moore treats the crisis as though it were no more serious than a cup of spilt tea on an expensive rug. As though this sort of thing happened on the job every day. Max has never in all his life met a woman with such nerve. Her dark eyes are too wide, her mouth is too full, her cheekbones too sharp. Yet together, she’s somehow…flawless. It’s just like his love for her, imperfect, unexpected – yet absolutely true.
I love Kelly Bowen Stories and Duke of My Heart did not disappoint. The characters are interesting and complex and the story is fast moving and keeps the readers turning pages. It is a combination of love, mystery, intrigue and suspense that kept me wanting more. In fact I didn’t put the book down until it was finished.
A death of a prominent earl found in the bed of a young unmarried woman sets the scene. To avoid scandal, a team from Chegarre and Associates is called in correct the situation as they have the reputation of smoothing things over. Both Ivory Moore and Captain Max Harcourt are introduced at this time. Ivory has an interesting past and has learned to survive by building up a reputation for herself and the work she does. She knows what she is doing and expects everyone to follow instructions without questioning. Max’s sister, in whose bed the corpse was found, is missing. Max who has just returned home is frantic. Having been Captain on his own ship he doesn’t take orders well at any time and especially now from an overbearing and outspoken female however he is desperate to find his sister so he reluctantly does as he is instructed. He learns as the story progresses that Ivory is good at what she does and finds he wants not only to protect her but his need for her is steadily growing.
Ivory knows there is an undeniable attraction to Max but also knows it can’t stand in the way of her goal of finding his sister. As they travel through the seedier areas of London Ivory has to make a negotiation to achieve the release of Max’s sister that can only have a questionable ending. When Max shows up he puts the negotiation in jeopardy. Now Ivory’s future is dependent on her trust in Max’s ability. When he achieves her freedom Max must choose his seafaring ways which have always brought him peace or adapting to the world of his upbringing that he has in the past despised.
As I have said this is a book of adventure, mystery and love, set in a historical setting. Although it ends as the reader expects, the twists and turns have you questioning until the end. I know for a fact I will watch in anticipation for the next Kelly Bowen novel. They truly are delightful.