The Trouble with Dukes
Windham Brides #1
By Grace Burrowes
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
The gossips whisper that the new Duke of Murdoch is a brute, a murderer, and even worse—a Scot. They say he should never be trusted alone with a woman. But Megan Windham sees in Hamish something different, someone different.
No one was fiercer at war than Hamish Mac Hugh, though now the soldier faces a whole new battlefield: a London Season. To make his sisters happy, he’ll take on any challenge—even letting their friend Miss Windham teach him to waltz. Megan isn’t the least bit intimidated by his dark reputation, but Hamish senses that she’s fighting battles of her own. For her, he’ll become the warrior once more, and for her, he might just lose his heart.
The Trouble with Dukes is a sweet Georgian-era historical romance that will probably please fans of Grace Burrowes.
Hamish Mac Hugh has reluctantly inherited a dukedom from his great aunt’s side but really has no interest in high society, especially in London. However, his family always comes first, and he agrees to see his younger sisters through their first season. He has a reputation of being rather uncivilized (he is a Scot, after all), and rumors of his time in the military have dubbed him the Duke of Murder. In an effort not to embarrass his sisters, he agrees to Megan Windham’s offer to help him smooth out the rough edges. Megan is the daughter of a duke and well versed in what is expected of her station, but she has some worries of her own. A foolish youthful indiscretion haunts her and has provided Sir Fletcher Pilkington fodder for blackmail and to push Megan into marrying him. Megan seeks Hamish’s help in releasing Sir Fletcher’s hold on her, and the two quickly fall in love. But, will the pair be able to right this wrong in order to have their happy ending?
Hamish and Megan are interesting enough main characters. Hamish is haunted by his time in the war. He is fiercely loyal to his family and is charming in his own rather coarse way. Megan is spunky, yet refined, and her poor eyesight actually makes her more relatable. Sir Fletcher is a sufficiently evil “villain”. Yet, in spite of these good attributes, I never really warmed up to any of them. Their back stories, especially Hamish’s, should have provided fodder for complex, richly drawn characters, but I never felt like they ever met their full potential, and this made for a one-dimensional read for me.
The Trouble with Dukes is the first book in the Windham Brides books, and I mistakenly thought this meant a brand new series, but it is not and features many characters from Burrowes other books. Since I have not read any of these books, I felt that I was missing something throughout. I suppose I would like all the secondary characters if I knew anything about them, but not knowing any of their back stories really hampered my enjoyment of the this book.
I could have overlooked all of this had the plot been innovative or even well executed. Unfortunately, the story here is shallow, a cookie cutter plot with nothing new brought to the table. It is just an “ok” read for me, and I fear I will quickly forget the whole book . Its saving grace is that I did feel transported to the era of the book.
I recommend The Trouble with Dukes to die-hard historical romance fans and those who enjoy Burrowes other works.